THE ART OF BLACK AND WHITE SILVER FILM PHOTOGRAPHY

There have been many well known black and white film photographers: Henri Cartier- Bresson,Mary Ellen Mark, Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange and Brian Duffy to name just a few. When I began taking photographs as a kid I had a brownie and the smooth wide rolls of film that fit into it. I belonged to a family of  photographers. No one was a professional, but looking at the albums there are many, many photographs taken all over the world and almost all of them using black and white film.

I continued with film and when digital arrived I started learning that. I love photography, the  way it captures history in the moment. Think of all those truly famous photographs, Eugene Richards ”  grandmother cools off  beneath Brooklyn Bridge 1993 ” , Cassius Clay defeats Sonny Liston, Miami Beach, 1964, Bettmann/ Corbin  and of course the iconic photograph by Alfred Eisenstaedt ” V-J Day in Times Square, New York City, Aug 14, 1945″,with the sailor kissing the nurse, her back arched he bending over her in just that way , the whole angle view of the photograph is what makes it so great.

The time I spend in the darkroom is time I really enjoy. I tune the radio to our local University station WHSC, organize my equipment, whether I am developing film, loading it to the developing  cartridges in the dark not always easy, believe me, or readying the paper for printing, the sense of discovery, holding the film to the light being pleased with the result, that feels good.   I had the opportunity to join a black and white photography group where I could work on my darkroom skills as well as my photographic skills through my local Jefferson County Photographers. We got a grant from AHA, a local group that is very supportive of the Arts and took photos all around the county. We would have two shows a year and publish a book of our photographs. This has been a great opportunity for me and I am particularly grateful to our teacher and the  founder of our group Benita Keller. I include here a few photographs.

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NEW POEMS

It is already well into 2013 and I am so behind in posting something new for you, my dear readers. So here are a couple of new poems and a photograph I just took. I have begun a photographic study of this road not too far from my home.
I am doing some black and white photographs as well getting ready for our big Jefferson County Photographers Show in May when I will have to have 8 silver black and white photographs ready.
I love working with film it is so exciting. You don’t have that immediate gratification that you have with digital,this is true, however, it makes one work harder really understanding how photography works.

Trough Rd, Jefferson County,WV

Trough Rd, Jefferson County,WV

Here are a couple of the Black and white photographs our JCP show last fall.
Gargoyle, Jefferson County, WV

 

THE BOOK

I will never give up the book for the box

That cold steel under my fingers

Devoid of bookish personality

Page and font, perfume of age and type

A heft and hue only to itself.

I will never give up the book for the

Kindle or some other mock marvel

in that vein – no cover art to gaze upon

with each reading of the book,

no writing in the margins, no torn page

no date due stamps on the back,

no greeting on the front, no birthday memories

in a gentle hand ” to my dear Anna.”

No special binding holding volumes

of pages to their place, just a box

of metal, for other people, not me.

I will never give up the book.

( Published in The Anthology of Appalachian Writers Bobbie Ann Mason Volume III )

 

POND FISHING IN WEST VIRGINIA

I fish for hours

casting where greenness,

reflections of the sky and trees,

fill my eye.

I walk the path around the pond

casting near the old log.

The wind brings perfumes of humid air

and the leafy pond.

Better than Chanel to me.

A fish jumps by the reeds.

I cast and reel, cast and reel – not one fish bites.

Not even the leaping bass.

( Published in The Anthology of Appalachian Writers  Ron Rash Volume IV )