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Izumi's Diary Page 57      Saturday 28 July 2012  
         
         
Words Without Pictures
 
         
     
 

Maybe it is just as well that today I have to live up to the heading above because I am in that time of year when my walking coincides with the morning light stealing up upon the fading night so at that hour the day is neither one thing nor the other and it means that what light there is is flat, bland and lacking contrast and character. And so are the streets and their inhabitants and their activities.

The Decisive Moments take this opportunity to have a bit of a lie-in, I think.

But not me. I have been walking out with Little Brother in order to know him better even though the equipment to process his photographs has not arrived yet.

 
     
 

Actually one of my thoughtful subjects during my walks is whether shooting on film or shooting in black and white with Little Brother is the more different from shooting in digital colour with my PEN. One requires you to see more in shades and contrasts (or not) although form and composition are still vitally important, the other requires a patience that sometimes you are out of practice with.

But despite those facts best of all it is learning and applying new things and skills which is good for your brain in particular and your life in general.

 
     
 

And perhaps it is being designed for the best as it gives me time to adjust to the different way of working when I have a camera with film in it.

And not only film, remember, but black and white film much as like (and you know I am going to say this) that used by M Cartier-Bresson in his Leica.

 
     
 

I think that if you can put out of your mind the practicality of chemistry then the creation of an image by applying a liquid to a piece of film is even more magical than a lens forming an image on that piece of film in the first place.

After all, you can hold a lens up to your eye and see through it like a beam of light does or let that light fall onto a surface and see an image, so your mind can accept that these things are possible.

But chemistry does his work in the darkness of the tank holding the film and does not let you see the result until the very end. It is the last part of all the waiting processes, and probably because of that the most nerve-wracking.

 
     
 

One thing that I became fascinated with when I was younger was alchemy, or as I called it then 'renkinjutsu' and the idea of trying to turn ordinary metals into precious ones. A corner of my uncle's workroom became my laboratory and I spent many fascinating hours there working on theories and occasionally a bit of practice.

I know it is said that such things are impossible and making images with film and chemicals is provenly possible yet I think there is a connection between the two. Just because we know how one magic works and haven't yet worked out how to achieve the other does not lessen the wonderment of either.

And let us not forget that while the metallistic alchemy may or may not be so, it is a very prosaic process, whereas the photographic alchemy adds the elements of feeling and emotion to the process, and that is something that is best not to even try to explain, but just accept that it is so and appreciate it for that.

 
     
 

Now I think the lioness had better get back to finding and capturing some Decisive Moments and stop being a philosopher for a while.

But if you have read all this down to here, I thank you and you deserve the nice cup of tea that awaits you.

As it does me, so goodbye for now from your friend,

Izumi.

 
     
     
 
 
 
 
To fully understand my footsteps, please read me from the start.
 
Izumi's Diary Page 57
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