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July 17, 2007
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The Rope and the Roots by hever The Rope and the Roots by hever
I haven't uploaded a photograph in a while. And this one certainly isn't new. And I don't expect many people to appreciate it (which is probably why I hadn't uploaded it before), but there's much more to it than meets the eye. So if you don't care enough to hear me out, then don't bother commenting. I don't want any critique. However, if you want to learn something special--and something about me (as very few people on dA really know what I'm all about)--then I invite you to continue reading. Those of you who are familiar with my work should know that I never write more than a sentence or two (if even!) about my work. By the looks of this, I think it's obvious that I mean business.

This photograph is nothing impressive. Well, nothing impressive if you don't know that it was taken with this:[link]
That's right. It was taken with something as simple as a box. That was the pinhole camera I constructed for my course on pinhole photography. A box/drawer painted black on the inside and equipped with a pinhole lens. If you don't know what a pinhole camera is, please...educate yourself: [link]
This was how they first began taking photographs.

To take this, I went into a safe-lit darkroom and put a piece of photo paper against the back wall of the box. I then sealed the edges of the drawer with black electrical tape and used a 50 pence coin as my shutter over the lens. I went outside. Set the box down at the base of a tree, and removed the coin. After a few minutes in bright sunlight, I replaced the coin, brought the box back to the darkroom, and developed a paper negative--much like a film negative, but on paper. To develop this photo, I put the paper negative against another piece of photo paper--emulsion to emulsion--placed it under glass and exposed it to light with an enlarger...much like how you would make a contact sheet with film.

So other than the technical aspects, why did I bother submitting this print? To tell you the truth...I'm not sure. I took this photo over a year ago and haven't thought about it since. Until this morning. When I realized it was a self portrait.

I've just always felt a connection with this photo. I loved it even though it was desolate and somewhat lonely. It's complex and unclear and perhaps a bit misunderstood. And now looking at it, while I stood behind the camera, set it on the ground, filled with fear, apprehension, and uncertainty of what it would take...I now see that the camera had turned itself around and taken an image of what is inside of me. And anyone that knows what I had been through prior to this photo, knows that this depiction is entirely accurate.

I don't know how else to explain it. But when I went looking for the photo, I realized I didn't keep it in the album with the rest of them, but I put it in a leather box where I keep all of small the special things--notes, letters, tiny trinkets, dried flower...etc--that people have given me over the past year. I can tell you that this picture was the first thing in that box. Everything else came afterwards.

That's my story.
So...?
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:iconsomelatevisitor:
somelatevisitor Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2007
I love your story, this picture's story - depends from where your point of view may be ... actually, to me it was some water surface being hit by rain - until after having read the story behind it I finally managed got to read the picture's title.
It made me ... in a way ... melancholy.
I can still smell the developer and fixer, I had done so much b/w photography "back then" when there was no digital photography. Think I'll upload some, too.
It's really beautiful, and yes, it kind of reflects the photographer's soul.
Thank you for the insight.
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:iconlempo:
Lempo Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2007
I really like this photo, I like who you sort of have to sit and think your way into the image, it has a nice grainy sort of quality. It's almost like a scene from an early black and white horror film, it makes me feel uneasy but secure at the same time.
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:iconathansor:
Athansor Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2007  Professional Photographer
This makes me want to get very, very quiet, and a little misty...like when you suddenly stumble on a secret place that you know is sacred.

Thank you for sharing--I feel blessed...and find it especially interesting, given what we're doing tomorrow.

:hug:
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:iconhever:
hever Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
I thought you would appreciate it. :)
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:iconathansor:
Athansor Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2007  Professional Photographer
And you were quite right! :D
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:iconwonderdookie:
WonderDookie Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2007  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
If you don't want a critique of the pic I'll refrain, but that sounds like a really cool project regardless. I think I see the shape of an eye in there in the roots too, and it creeps me out!
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:iconhever:
hever Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
It's not something you can really critique. It was a one shot deal that I did over a year ago, my last pinhole photo, and I won't be doing it again...so I don't see the point of having people waste their time writing up constructive criticism that I'm not going to use. :shrug:
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:iconxxhollywoodhills:
xxHOLLYWOODhills Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2007
thats seriously an amazing picture.
i stumbled upon this by total coinsidence,
but im glad i did.
pinhole photography totally interests me.
i sat in on one of my former friends classes
[last year]
and it was seriously so interesting,
i was there the day pinhole camera was introduced haha.


anyways, total props for this picture.
& i think its impressive haha.
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