It was a cold snowless November evening and I set out to recreate one my most memorable images. I was prepared for the occasion: long underwear, headlamp, coffee and my Hasselblad.
Since I had already made the shot digitally, I had a good idea of what I wanted the image to look like but this time I had a completely different toolset, and if I’m honest with you, a completely different mindset.
I was already on Frame 10, which was probably a good thing. I exposed three shots, each with varying exposure times ranging 15 to 25 minutes. If you’re familiar with Saskatchewan, or even just Canadian winters, you’ll know before long how quickly and numbingly stubborn your fingers and limbs become trying to function in the cold. Luckily, there wasn’t much work required after composing the shot. 1, 2, 3 and I packed it up to go home.
I felt confident in my composure but wish I could say the same for exposure. When shooting film, there is always an element of uncertainty. My mind is usually abuzz with anticipation and unsettledness but that moment I pull the film from the tank and see the illustrious shine of properly exposed (and developed) slide-film, that feeling turns to ethereal fluttering as I experience the vivid image before me.
What I could create shooting hundreds of frames and hours behind a computer screen pales in comparison to the pure cross-section of light and time captured in one 6cm by 6cm square.