I’m cleaning out my workspace. And, while I’m doing it, I’m finding lots of stuff I want to get rid of. Cameras that I haven’t used in a long time. Meters I don’t use any more. A staggering amount of stuff that’s just plain trash.
I’d put off the big cleanup until I was done with SoFoBoMo. Not just done, but done done. And now I’m lifting my sights from the SoFoBoMo goal of getting my book done, and upward toward the horizon of where I want my photography to go in the next year. I’m looking at all those theatre photos, and I’m letting them percolate in my mind, in the hopes that something really good will brew up in there.
So yesterday I sold off the old dry mount press. It felt good, and here’s why – it breaks the chain. Sure, I could still make silver prints if I really wanted to – I just would have to cobble together some way to flatten them and mount them. I could hinge mount them, the way I do inkjet prints now, I guess. But although it might seem silly, getting rid of that big, heavy piece of equipment that looked like something from a 1957 B movie about monsters destroying Tokyo is a big step away from silver for me.
If I’ve got no dry mount press, I know in my heart that I’m not ever making more silver prints. And if I really know that, it means that big old enlarger – it should go too. The enlarging lenses. The enlarging timer. Print washers. There’s a lot of stuff that can go away, and enrich someone else’s life.
I’ve even pondered the idea of really getting rid of stuff – doing a Weston and destroying all those old negatives. Ok, maybe not the family photo negatives – but all the art stuff. Burn all the 45 negatives. I disconnected the scanner yesterday – and I’m thinking I’ll sell it. That sort of breaks the chain to all those 4×5 negatives – no way to scan them any more means I’ll never print them again. And I’m strangely OK with that. I guess I’ll keep the scanner, do a book of the meager quantity of 45 stuff I still like, and then get rid of it all except for the digital versions I need for the book.
This urge to declutter strikes me every once in a while – not just an urge to physically declutter but to inwardly declutter as well. The two don’t seem like they should be linked together but they are.
It’s time for a clean sweep and a fresh mind.