Before & After

Road Sign, Crumpler, North Carolina 2002 © jwl

Recently, while working on my next book project, I found a pile of old polaroids. In this pile were a few forgotten images of familiar scenes. To explain, for a long time (before digital) I carried a Polaroid camera that I would use to 'sketch' scenes or ideas for future photographs. I used this process for times when I didn't have the equipment or enough time to make a proper image. Either the time of day or season wasn't right for the color or maybe I didn't see what was there clearly enough to spend the time on the subject. For these days, Polaroids were genius. Nowadays, I will just make a digital image and oftentimes the quality of the digital image is substantial enough to just go with it. Oh, how far we have come!

Road Sign (sketch), Crumpler, North Carolina 2001 © jwl

Finding these 'sketches' has peaked my interest in a very peculiar way. Looking at them, with their inherent quality flaws and despite my reasons for not making a proper photograph, I think they have a great immediate charm. It helps to have the 8 or 9 years of detachment, but I like these little images. I have been scanning them in order to preserve them before they deteriorate any more.

Whatever the process or reasoning, these are truly photographs. Proper photographs.

1 comment:

Zak said...

I don't think there can be a "bad" polaroid. No matter what the subject, a polaroid always looks intersting. Maybe it's just the nostalgic feeling of them.

Awesome that you are preserving them digitally. They look great.