Monday, June 22, 2020

Kylee + Light Leak, El Mirage Dry Lake Bed, California, 2019




There’s something magical about the darkroom, the place where light which was faithfully transmitted to film can then be transferred to light-sensitive paper. This is what film photography means to me, reviewing the test strip and then selecting the time and contrast to represent the moment captured on that incredible day!  

PS The light leak represents the mechanical side, reminds me that chaos is the order of the world... which led to printing it full frame and to embrace the disorder. 

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Young Syrian + Scarf, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, 2019


As the series from last year in Lebanon continues, more and more familiar faces rise through the developer. This young girl lives but ten minutes away from my family's home in Zahle, and in the very first encampment which gave birth to my images in Lebanon over two decades.

Her portrait needed to be printed close up, cropped and large, embracing the grain of #kodaktrix and her incredibly strong expression!


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Saturday, June 13, 2020

Chemicals + Darkroom, Cleveland Heights, Ohio, 2020


Everything is ready to go for another week in the darkroom, finishing the prints from Lebanon and moving on to the negatives from Nicaragua.

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Best Friends, Syrian Girls, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, 2019


There’s something magical about the darkroom, the place where light which was faithfully transmitted to film can then be transferred to light-sensitive paper. This is what film photography means to me, from the selection of the negative, to the placement under the light source, to the focus on the easel, to the test strip, to the setting of contrast and finally to the fiber print!

This was printed today, a portrait of two best friends from my time in Lebanon last year. They are Syrians living in Lebanon during these difficult times, and are on my mind as summer approaches. My hope is that their future is as bright as the light in this enlarger, and as pure.


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Cami + Darkroom, El Mirage Dry Lake Bed, Southern California, 2017


Today was spent in the darkroom printing my collaborations with Cami and starting with the first two times we worked together. I have been fortunate enough to have witnessed her incredible art over the years. Here was the first negative printed, and now the prints are on screens to dry for the night. 

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Saturday, June 6, 2020

Jasmine + Darkroom, Cleveland, Ohio, 2020








There’s something magical about the darkroom, the place where light which was faithfully transmitted to film can then be transferred to light-sensitive paper. This is what film photography means to me, from the selection of the negative, to the placement under the light source, to the focus on the easel, to the test strip, to the setting of contrast and finally to the fiber print... the entire process being analogue and made by hand! 

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Students in Uniforms, Rural Kenya, 2007


After Lebanon and India, it might be time to go way back to Kenya for the darkroom. The work is very different and will be a challenge in a good way. We'll see.

In this image are students as they waited to be photographed, and watched their friends being photographed. It was an overcast day, so we did what we could to accommodate and photographed all of them in groups. Sometimes two people, sometimes three people showed off their poses to the lens!
 

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Friday, June 5, 2020

Jasmine and Dry Lake, El Mirage, Southern California, 2017


Last month was spent in the darkroom with memories of Southern California under the enlarger. For this image Jasmine and I drove separately to El Mirage from two different cities, her from Los Angeles and me from San Francisco. We had never met before and were introduced to each other at the perfect time and the ideal space. It was an incredible afternoon, her creativity is truly remarkable. This weekend continues my work with the dancers in Los Angeles, and next week begins the printing of last summer in Lebanon. 

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Man with Roosters, Rural Kenya, 2007


These are the moments in between planned photography, when a man walks by on his way home with a rooster under his arm. This happened while in rural Kenya, photographing school children and those working for the sake of community development. I hope to return to the continent of Africa soon. 

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Thursday, June 4, 2020

Stylist + Client, Virat Nagar, Rajasthan, India, 2020


While the world around us has at times become unrecognizable, I take comfort in looking at the images made just a couple of months ago. My hope is that we will rebound and find ourselves in a better place.

As soon as we are able to do so, the sewing centers will reopen. In addition to sewing, the centers will now include a parlor course. This was the idea of the teachers, and all students raisedtheir hands when asked if they wanted to participate.

Nobody in the villages has this capacity, and if the young women gain this knowledge... they can then take it with them to their husbands' villages and have a greater ability to support themselves and their families.

In this image two young students are having some fun imitating their older sisters, with Shanu taking center stage once again as the stylist for the afternoon. Her seriousness always amazes me!
 


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