So I was thinking about photography today (as usual) and I felt like I was drowning in digital. The world is an ocean of ones and zeros and I am sinking to the bottom. I love digital photography and the freedom it gives me to make images any way I like, but I feel like something – a big something- is missing.
It feels nearly impossible to make an image that isn’t lost in the sea of images everywhere. There is something too about the way that everything is copied and manipulated and changed that begins to make the camera seem superfluous (as it is for some artists). I want to be able to make a photograph that is more real somehow, more a thing itself, more of a moment as it was. Oh, I know that all photographs are mediated or manipulated to some extent, just the act of framing is a manipulation, a statement. But somehow that kind of manipulation carries a level of innocence that is completely gone in the digital age.
So I was thinking about all this when it came to me – make daguerreotypes. Unplanned, unbidden, intriguing. A form of direct positive that is not even particularly easy to copy. If I recall correctly they have a sort of ghostly silvery three dimensional quality.
I want to learn how to make them. I want to have photograph that is sort of anti-digital, more of an agreement between a particular moment and myself – but that is more of an “agreement between equals”.
So, annoyed with the digital world, but not a Luddite, I decided to keep a record of this process as I go. Mostly for myself, but to share as well if others are interested. No more time for now, but tomorrow I will begin to research an antique process in the digital sea.