In My Head
How does one restore hope back into such a bleak and strenuous world? Growing up, I had a privileged childhood filled of pleasant memories of summer vacations and time spent with loved ones. In my adolescent years, I was surrounded by everything Disney, including taking trips to the theme parks. Going there year after year and surrounding myself with their music and movies filled my head and heart with many unrealistic possibilities. Over the years, as I’ve grown older, reality has overcome fantasy. Age, time, mental health, and self-esteem are just a few of the things that have taken away the ability to have the magic filled life I once had. I have struggled watching others suffer, and not be able to help. Just as I, myself, have slipped into this somber state, forever wishing I could snap my fingers and fix everything, like the movies. But just as every Disney protagonist knows, it’s out of the darkness that we learn to see; and although you may not be able to see it at first glance, there is hope.
The process of darkroom photography is the closest to magic in the real world I have ever experienced. But the real magic began when I was introduced to the 4x5 view camera. I was able to slow down and be deliberate in life, which is something I consider to be rare for me. With this camera, I am able to create the image in my head, then compose it right in front of me. Through my photography, I have been able to create a world of my own combing the harsh realities that life has shown me, while also painting with light and shadows to instill hope back into my world. The rich contrast of black and white portrays the heaviness within these images, while also creating tonal values that are able to make the image come to life in a rather cinematic way. The relationship between the photographer, the camera, the loved one in the photograph and their surrounding environment should make the viewer feel the same longing and desperation to be at peace with one’s self again.
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