The lost exposures

When I was four years old, my mother would bring me to her college photography class.

  1. Develop the prints for a couple of minutes
  2. place them in the stop bath for 30 seconds to stop the development
  3. submerge the prints in the fixer for five minutes so it’s no longer light sensitive
  4. wash them for a half hour with constant running water

The process is drilled into my head. I'd watch her develop photographs in the darkroom, stare at the images as they blossomed, becoming tangible.

Every family vacation, holiday, gathering, mom was taking pictures, documenting moments. I wanted a camera of my own. I wanted to see the world through a viewfinder too and still do. I want people to see what I see.

I received a Nikon N8008 when I was in high school. Most of the photographs I took with it were terrible, but Henri Cartier-Bresson said, “Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.”

There are a few photographs I like from those years but the negatives are gone. I’ve started a small series on Instagram titled “The Lost Exposures,” because the prints are all that’s left.

From top left, clockwise:  (1)  "Birthday Balloons," photographed sometime in 2007.  (2)  Contact sheet of "Birthday Balloons."  (3)  "Mirror Girl," photographed in 2007. One of my favorite photos from the best roll of film I developed myself.  (4)  A monk at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, Georgia, catches me photographing him.

From top left, clockwise: (1) "Birthday Balloons," photographed sometime in 2007. (2) Contact sheet of "Birthday Balloons." (3) "Mirror Girl," photographed in 2007. One of my favorite photos from the best roll of film I developed myself. (4) A monk at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, Georgia, catches me photographing him.