Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Young Student + Window, Shamli District, Uttar Pradesh, India, 2017

This will be the very first negative to be printed in the darkroom this week. For those involved in her school, her portrait is being presented with gratitude. She is one of nearly 150 new students to benefit from the new classes. The first quarter of the budget has been received this week by Nirvanavan Foundation, and plans are under way to move forward with the establishment of the school in her village.

There is something truly magical about this room, and it was discovered almost by accident. One day when we were finished with the portraits in direct sunlight, we decided to go inside and found the light to be absolutely magnificent. The girls loved it of course because they could be photographed in peace, without the prying eyes of the village. They also loved the fact that they were being photographed in subtle light, rather than under the hot sun. So it began, the love affair with window light... and the creativity of the girls just blossomed.

Portraits now included two girls at a time, some near the window, some further away. Some girls looked at the camera, while some girls looked to the window. This young girl specifically was a true natural in front of the lens, and whenever asked stepped right up. Our partners in the village have created a special place for these children, allowing them to collaborate with us and without fear of being scolded. These girls have never been allowed to interact in such a way, and now they had the freedom to do so... and truly lived in the moment.

To see this young girl so poised for her portrait, so confident, pushes me forward even more so. All of those involved have my gratitude for helping make her school possible... and my respect goes to Nirvana and his team for the difficult work ahead.

Note: This frame was made with a Hasselblad V system onto Ilford film, and scanned only for preview purposes through the negative sleeve.

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