Old Shanghai

Chinese door.

More tinkering.

I think, for the foreseeable future, this is where I’m headed. I like the notion of bringing more to a photograph than just pushing the button and letting digital processes do all the rest. This feels like my version of photography. Something a little ephemeral. But, at the same time tangible. Something that you can hold in your hands. Or, hang on your wall.

There were a couple of interesting comments yesterday on a couple of pages. One, about certain filters emulating a certain film “look” got me thinking. I actually don’t think a digital filter can be made to look like a certain film emulsion. You can come close. Better yet, it’s jumping off place to someplace better, newer and unique. Something that is yours.

Then, the equipment thing raised it’s head. Again. To be honest, I guess I helped that a little. I think people get confused and attach status to things.


Like phones, cameras, cars. This prompts them to buy stuff they really can’t afford. And, likely can’t use to its fullest potential. All of these things are tools. Even, for most people, a car is a tool. That’s all these things are. Tools. Like a hammer. I suppose some people might collect hammers, but I don’t know them.

When you get clear of that status thing, you’ll focus on the two things that really matter. The process. And, the final outcome.

This picture. I made it in Shanghai, China, before the city became modernized. In those dark old days, Shanghai people used to say that it was faster to communicate by mail than it was to try to make a telephone call. Many streets were pitch black at night. There were few cars. Then, things changed. For the better. Or, at least for the modern.


I took this picture on black and white film. Tri-X. I made a traditional wet print in a darkroom. I used it for some published piece and it went into a box. In my closet. Eventually, I found it. I scanned it. And, started tinkering around. What you see is the result. An, almost 30-year-old picture brought back to life and made a little more contemporary.


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