Latency - The Beauty Of AnticipationSaturday, August 06, 2011
|Grand Canyon, North Rim, Noblex Pro 175 U, Ilford FP-4|
I am writing this August 6, 2011 and it is 3:07 in the afternoon. My blogs are almost caught up from our trip to south Texas and now stand at Wednesday August 3. I will write in due time the missing ones but at the same time I wanted to write something in real time. It is about now and its exquisite relationship with that word that used to represent the best of potential, of possibility. The word, latency, was adopted by early photographers to explain the concept of the image of reality that was locked onto the Daguerreotype, the Talbot Type, the collodion glass plate and the rest of photography until the advent of the digital camera. This image, not to be seen had to be developed. The word has lost a bit of its shine and is sometimes used in juxtaposition with the word homosexual. Those who are homosexual like to point out, to their credit, that homosexuality is innate and is not a disease that can be “cured” or a way of being that can be “reformed”. The combination words - latent sexuality in our modern 21st century world are words that offer that possibility, a magic word all in its own, of the realization of one’s being.
In a much smaller way, for me, today is a day of anticipating the magic of latency in negatives (four rolls exposed to my Noblex panoramic). I have no idea what is in them since I did not mark them or give them a number. As the negatives wash in my darkroom I will soon fish them out and hang them to dry. Only then will I know to what extent latency has delivered the potential of beauty or not. Perhaps the pictures will be mediocre. But it is the expectation, the waiting which now seems to be in short supply in our world, that with polls and statistics, predicts a certainty that bypasses latency and the wonder of possibility realized or even thwarted.
Curiously many of the more expensive digital SLRs give the photographer the option to turn off the instant replay seen on the screen on the back. The image in the sensor is now latent. But the cat is out of the bag and few if any photographers want to return to a world of uncertainty. They are willing to trade anticipation with the reality of now. What a pity.
The Latent Image, Magic & Cris Derksen