The Long Way Home


B&W Diary
November 20, 2013, 6:05 AM
Filed under: Pennsylvania | Tags: , , , , ,
Route 19: Dairy Queen, Lawrence County

Route 19: Dairy Queen, Lawrence County

I had this black and white instant film in the fridge for the longest time and I didn’t want to mess with it because it’s finicky: it needs to be immediately shielded from light, which requires me putting on the timer, then ejecting it into a black bag (something I came up with to protect the film). But my wish to shoot in black and white won over laziness and this is what I captured: one random shot from an abandoned Dairy Queen that we found a few weeks ago, and the series below, which I thought about shooting while I was getting my hair cut this past Saturday morning. The DQ piqued our interest because we thought it was a junk shop, but realized it had been forgotten for years: cracked windows lined in broken bottles and mummified birds pressed against glass. I loved though how the sunlight created hard shadows of the weeds against the cinderblock, and the film grain made them look so delicate. Weeks later, and I’m sitting in the hairdressing chair flipping through BUST, thinking about self-portraits, the geometry of the human form, shadows and light  – all that beautiful Saturday light that we haven’t seen much of for the past few days, and I knew I had to take advantage of it. These are an imperfect batch – soft focus, grainy, contrasty  – and they make me miss those long hours I used to spend in the darkroom, lost, but comforted in the red light.

voila

voila

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11 Comments so far
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dark and mysterious. I sometimes miss the dark room as well. The agony and the ecstasy.

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Comment by motherblue212

haha! “agony and ecstasy.” you nailed it. when it’s good, it’s really good, but when a chemical accident happens, or you’ve wasted an entire box of $30 photo paper on two prints, or you realize you don’t have any negatives worth enlarging? tears ensue (i still loved it).

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Comment by Lisa

I’m glad we found that wild tree in our alley!

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Comment by Jeff

When Iooked up, I couldn’t believe what happened to it, all spooky and perfect.

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Comment by Lisa

Lisa, wonderful feeling about this!!…and yes, I miss the long hours in the dark room too, like time never existed…I got really lost in there… Thank you, beautiful series…

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Comment by karijeppesen

Thanks, Kari! So happy to find another who understands that “darkroom” feeling – it is like being lost in time. A perfect way to spend an afternoon.

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Comment by Lisa

…and so many late nights…(…smiling at you…)

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Comment by karijeppesen

I have loved your B&W photos for a long time–I remember the grief sequence you did with those wonderful curtains a couple of years ago. I also remember when you mentioned putting that film in the fridge (so glad you took it out!). The abandoned DQ and delicate weeds is terrific and the grainy splochiness of your silouette sticks in the eye. The last photo with Jeff under that brute of a tree is just great. Thanks for sharing.

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Comment by Michael Williamson

thanks so much, michael – I thought of you before I posted these because of the black and whites of the windows I posted years back (it’s already been a few years. crazy!). I love how you describe “that brute of a tree” – it really is. and a few leaves are still clinging for dear life to the branch ends.

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Comment by Lisa

Hi Lisa, the comment above which starts with “aw sweet Lisa…” did not come from me, mine is the “I have loved your B&W photos…” Thanks, Michael

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Comment by Michael Williamson

oh, wow – sorry! i’m not sure where that one came from (I don’t see it on my feed now, but I see it on the page). thanks for letting me know!

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Comment by Lisa




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