The best picture in my world

Group of men in Biccari Italy in the 1960s

There is a picture in my shoe box of prints of my dad from when he was a lad. He is with a bunch of friends on a street somewhere in Italy. It might be in Biccari, where he grew up, but its possibly somewhere else because you are more likely to take pictures on vacation. Looks like they are getting ready for a wedding. 

The photographer was either scrambling for an acceptable exposure, or a creative genius - the men are a bit under exposed and the street and sky are completely blown out. You can barely make out the buildings they are standing next to because they are so bright. Perhaps the contrast was also a function of the printing process. 

I completely love everything about this picture. I'll be trying to replicate the style of this picture in a future portrait. 

Using negatives as a final image

When scanning black and white negatives, the moment when the negative image is inverted into a positive is captivating. No matter how much I study the negatives, they always seem blurry and difficult to interpret. The positives suddenly seem sharp and the scene presents itself clearly.

But sometimes a negative stands out on its own. It seems ethereal, or occasionally more real than when converted to positive. Some subjects work better than others - a human face often looks demonic in negative form as the eyes turn black with white pupils. But natural scenes and architecture seems to have their own charm as negatives.

As most photographs are subjected to some sort of post-production (whether in the darkroom or Lightroom), it seems that a conscious decision to not invert the negative is also a creative possibility.