a colleague at my day-job recently set his communicator status (the nearest thing we’ve got to a facebook stream in the office) to a quote from a fortune cookie. normally they’re just rubbish and often poorly translated adages. but this one struck a particular chord with me.
“Before the beginning of great brilliance, there must be chaos.”
when i look around the post-production suite that i used to call my office, i certainly hope this fortune will hold some weight and come true! i recently borrowed a friend’s Mamiya RZ67 medium format camera and liked it so much i decided to not give it back. he gave it to me with a really nice 140mm lens, great for portraits and i quickly bought a wider-angle 90mm for my outdoor landcape work.
now there are about 21 rolls of film that are waiting to be scanned, cataloged, and post-processed. these rolls contain some wonderful work that i’m hoping will form the basis of my next book project. at any one point in time there are also 6-8 rolls of film that need to be processed as well. it really is just chaos.
and when i look to the fall, i really want to consider building up a wet darkroom again and get to a point where i can start making some silver prints.
finding order in all of this is not easy for me. organizing and (probably more importantly) staying organized is not one of my strengths. but in the end, there comes a weekend, or a week, or a month when everything else fades away into the background, nothing else is important, and all my energy, my spirit is completely focused on wrangling the brilliance and beauty from all of this chaos. i know its all in there and i know its good stuff. i’m just not sure what the process is, how this all works deep inside my brain. its almost as if i have to work within very small bursts of creative energy, focusing first on a photo session. (make sure the film is loaded, get a good exposure, frame the shot, direct the model, wait for the sun to disappear behind clouds… press the shutter!) and once i know its all there, i can just develop, bag it, and toss it in the pile.
its just difficult to have the patience to wait for it to germinate and grow. all the lush rich soil is there, its moist and warm and a lot of energy is pouring into it, both from me and through everything the models bring to these images. for now, however, i’ll swim in the chaos all the while trying to nurture the brilliance to come.