Monday, February 21, 2011

darkrooms and bright ideas

Let's get one thing straight right away: I am not an artist. I'm a writer, and I am most comfortable when I am scribbling away on a notepad or typing furiously on my computer.
So, when Jamie Hagenberger of Blue Nandina Studio offered me the chance to try my hand at what she does quite well—her beautiful photograms—I accepted, but not without some trepidation. And so one Saturday morning, I made my way to her lovely home off new N.C. 86 and into a shed she had transformed into a darkroom with the help of Kickstarter and the more than 70 backers who funded her project. (For more, here's an article I did last week.)
Jamie kindly walked me through the process before letting me have a go myself.
It was really interesting—as someone who enjoys digital photography—to play with one of the precursors to film, to make a photographic image without the use of a camera. It was kind of fun to fumble around in the dark, placing fern and tree leaves in what I hoped was an interesting pattern, waiting somewhat impatiently for the image to go through the processor so I could finally turn on the lights and see what it looked like.
It was a lot of fun to step outside my comfort zone and try my hand at something brand new. After trying it once, I can definitely see how Jamie could spend hours in her little studio, making photogram after photogram, trying to get one just so.

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