Latency in DicontinuanceSaturday, November 09, 2019
To be able to previsualize takes a little talent. Certainly takes a little talent. Certainly those photographers who can see through surfaces to the truths within can learn to previsualize freely and spontaneously.
Minor White – Zone System Manual
Because I am product of that former century I learned to use the Ansel Adams system of photography to the extreme point of testing all the f-stops of the cameras that I then owned for accuracy or variance.
With film cameras unless you shot with some sort of Polaroid the image taken was imbedded in the negative or slide waiting to be developed. This was called the latent image.
If you were not an efficient photographer it was always pleasant to find out after developing your film commercially or in your home darkroom that the pictures had “turned out”. It was seen as a miracle.
To me the miracle is that the image not yet seen that has a tremendous power to surprise and please. It is sort of like a Platonic essence, an idea in our head when we press that shutter (this is recapitulation of Minor White’s previsualization ) that from the world of ideas, perfection, becomes not quite so in our physical reality.
This wonderful exercise is lost with a digital camera in which we shoot and our action at looking at the image just shot is a sort of photographic interruptus. And to make it all worse sometimes our flow (and flow of inspiration) is ground down by having to show the image to our subject for some sort of approval.
On the other hand, particularly with those film cameras and when combined with the now film in discontinuance (a Kodak term!), that is Kodak B+W Infrared Film there was another element of wonderful uncertainty. I miss that.