I have recently bought a new computer, and along with buying a new computer comes the monumentous task of transferring everything over, all applications and programmes, and the like. It’s like moving house really. It also makes me realise the importance of being organised along the way.
In my scramble to find all of those multitudinous software discs that come with the products, I found a tub full of my former life, being my life before digital photography. I knew I hadn’t thrown these things away, but I just hadn’t even thought about them for years.
For a couple of hours, I flicked through film negatives, film strips and all of my failed attempts in the dark room. Such wonderful nostalgia.
Out of all of the wonderful treasures I found, there is just one that I want to share with you because this is where it all started for me. In fact, there are two things, the first of which is my first ever camera. Who would have ever thought that this camera would be considered to be a vintage camera already – ahem, am I really that old. I have no idea how old this camera actually is, because I bought it second hand in a pawn shop in Seattle twenty years ago now. I had know idea that one day it would be considered hip and cool. I was hitching-hiking down the West Coast of the USA from Canada, and this camera was all I could afford. I bought it because I liked the camera strap.
This is the only camera I had until the digital era and I bought my first DSLR just after Harriet was born in 2004. So it has been archived in a tub, under my house for the last 8 years, along with this book, a project I started before Harriet was born, and completed after Harriet was born.
This camera, and this book is where it all started for me. This project has huge significance to me, as it kicked off my desire to photographically record, and not just for me, but for others to. Each and every one of the women in this book is a friend of mine, all of which were unlikely to ever consider the idea of obtaining images of this amazing point in their lives. Over the weekend, I saw my beautiful cousin, who lost one of her baby twins last year at twenty five weeks gestation. The other twin arrived into the world and struggled to survive as with all premature babies. Yesterday, I saw that beautiful surviving twin, who is now battling a new challenge, being cancer.
This project had a very different importance to me at the time that I completed it, but today I was reminded again of that feeling. It is lovely to be reminded once again of the reason I chose this journey.
Just a bit about the book. All images were taken using my Pentax K1000 and that cute little Pentax 50mm lens. The film was Ilford Delta 3200, and was processed by me. All images were painstakingly printed in the dark room, again by me, onto fibre based photographic paper. As each image was exposed in the darkroom, I cut out bits of card board to protect the images as more light was used to create the boarders on the images. The book is hand bound and stitched together, with a leather cover. It of course is very delicate, as each page is the actual photographic paper, separated with fly pages.
This is just a small selection of the 19 pages. If you would like to see the full book, you would be very welcome to.