Many of us have been running all our lives. Practice stopping.
Thich Nhat Hanh
Process as meditation…
In my last post, I chatted about wandering with my camera - wellbeing through photography… since then I have had my head well and truly down, working on my iterative process that I apply to improve all aspects of my work. As you know I love classic photography and black and white silver printing in the darkroom. At the moment I can’t have a darkroom of my own, so I have created a lighter stage of darkroom - a dim room so that I can carry on some form of printing from home - cyanotype. Printing feeds my soul.
I have been thinking how this, for me, is yet another form of wellbeing. Wellbeing through process… Through studying classic photography, over the years I have become interested in all sorts of processes for producing photographs - beyond cyanotype printing - platinum printing, contact printing silver prints in the darkroom with digital negatives and also hand colouring.
The pure concentration needed to perfect these various techniques to me is a form of mindfulness, of wellbeing.
I can loose myself for two or three hours whilst hand colouring a black and white photograph. Working the colours to achieve the right tones and shades, applying the colour gently to achieve the translucent feel and shading that I love. Equally, I can loose myself in Lightroom and Photoshop processing an image that I know is to be printed through one of these printing processes. Converting to black and white, making a digital negative with the right amount of contrast and density or simply weighing out and mixing chemicals for cyanotype, then coating papers takes me away from all that is going on in the world. In the zone. In a state of complete and utter flow…
If you are interested in Cyanotype prints, then I can throughly recommend Linda McCartney’s book Sun Prints. It is a beautiful book to read - even if you have no interest in printing your own. Such an organic process, quietly connecting me nature and process.
Hoping this is a little soul food for your own creativity and wellbeing