The Camera’s Power to Freeze an Illusion
Sad Jack. Smiling Jack. What’s the personality of this seven-month old perched in an old wooden chair in front of a worn wooden fence? When I first saw “Smiling Jack” through a loupe held against the negative on a lightbox, I thought, “That’s a unique photo – a baby gesturing like that.” It made me laugh. So I thought I would only print this image in the darkroom. But once in the darkroom, I also printed the image shot only a second earlier. Together, the images reminded me of the large brass faces depicting comedy and tragedy on opposite walls of movie theaters in years past. And I am reminded of how a fleeting second – frozen on film – can change our perception indefinitely.
Technical: Leica M6 rangefinder; 28mm lens. Tri-X. Natural light.