Of Lockdown and parallels

It has been a while but time it seems has stood still since late March when Lockdown was imposed upon us. It has to be said that the tsunami warning system that propelled itself from the Far East seemed to have blown out by the time our lacklustre Government pulled their collective finger out and then just about managed to obfuscate just about every message they dictated to us.

We’ve been lucky as we are not socially hungry people and for me in particular, Lockdown was only different in that I could not get building materials to carry on building this extension of ours (I started ground clearance 2 years ago this week). It is ironic really that I was gifted good health and all the time in the world to get on with it but the two big buffers I hit were no materials and if I needed labour I could not get that either.

But get on with stuff I did, at a much slower pace and not in the order I would expect. As much time as possible was spent nurturing the allotments during an excessively hot April followed by some unseasonally cold and frosty weather.

Back in February I got back into large format mode and the Ebony was out of hibernation but all non-essential services were shut including PEAK who process my colour film and couple that with not being permitted to travel anywhere to undertake any form of image making, it is back in mothballs.

Now, Large Format image making is very process driven even though there is a creative drive that kick-starts the process and I’ve had time to think of parallels during Lockdown in terms of making Sourdough.

Sourdough is the only bread I have eaten for over 10 years now but with the bakery stall not available because of Lockdown, I decided to give it a go as after all it is just a process with a degree of creativity involved yes?

Well yes it is. I have worked out now after 7 weeks of baking that timing is important just as it is with making a Large Format image in terms of capturing the latent image and also in the development time. As for development, temperature is also important as are ingredients and this applies equally to the dough making and baking process. Throughout the processes of making images and bread, process and note taking is vital. One other thing in common is knowing what the final product should look like before you start and that is where the creative aspects lie.

I always fill in a notebook of conditions at the time I make a large format image and I found myself doing this automatically from day 1 of making my starter and noting the difference for instance that ambient temperature has as does length of retard which is a bit like dealing with reciprocity. I wonder how many other film based photographers are drawn to making their own bread?

One thing I found I could make in terms of images was a soundscape of the sounds of Lockdown recorded in our back yard. I’ve not finished layering all the recordings yet but they do form an interesting construct of how our very urban landscape changed as the weeks wore on. I wish I had had the gumption to start from week 1.

In the meantime, Winter moved into Spring and now we have passed the longest day and are on a downward slope to Autumn but in the garden
Doves have bred a pair of chicks. This one of them.
Dove chick

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