Sunday, December 20, 2015

Good Riddance 2015...

Photo: © S. Banos

Probably worst year of my life. The year I discovered, much to my dismay, that my photographic 'legacy' had been substantially compromised. Fortunately, many if not most of those images can be digitally restored, thanks to the 'magic' that is Photoshop (and the long man hours required of each that very much ain't). Have already successfully completed some twenty-five 65MB restorations- otherwise, I may very well have taken that proverbial long walk off a short pier. Just another 300+ to go...

And if I didn't have the handful of images as proof, I'd probably overlook the fact that I actually purchased a Fujifilm XT-1, my very first foray into the digital imaging world; one undeniably gorgeous, little camera, and most capable performer (as was the amazing 14mm Fujinon). I anticipated we would bond immediately. Alas! The finder is amazing in low light, great in open shade, but in direct sunlight/contrasty lighting- adequate, at best (and it's supposedly the preeminent EVF out there)! Still, if I shot color like most everyone, I would have kept it all the same for its stunning results. But being the B&W kinda guy that I've become, still didn't like the results it delivered in... direct sunlight; and it's the latter that most profoundly reveals just how different an animal B&W digital truly is. It can recover incredible shadow detail, but there's something in the highlight gradations that just... fall... short. Don't bother me with the physics, and the curves, and the charts- already have something (called film) that delivers the look and feel I want. And I already got more than enough work to do (see: Para.1), than struggle to make due with something that only approximates what I call home. Maybe I'll give the digital realm another go round 2020 (or not)... till then, my F3, FM3A and Tri-X will suffice.

What can't be undone or ameliorated however, is my father's diagnosed dementia. That assault and robbery is not only non negotiable, but ongoing. Another sad and sorry aphorism: a train wreck in slow motion. And neither faith nor technology will halt that inevitable descent. As recently as the previous year when he could still reason and function logically at 90, he said without fear or anxiety that he had led a full life and was ready to go- lingering is what he dreaded most.

What possible life lesson is to be learned when one can no longer remember, let alone understand? What life debt are you possibly balancing when you can no longer even conceive the equation?

No comments: