Having spent a good portion of my life standing in the dark, dodging and burning then spotting my prints, I doubt I will ever go back to analog in any meaningful way. I saw this negative and scanned it because these are two people who I was once very close too. I don't know either of them now. As I was looking at the scan, I remembered that day. I was in love with her and he was my best friend.
It is a wonderful thing to be able to work in room light on an image. I actually spend far longer with my images in the digital realm than I ever did in the dark. There are simply things that I can do now that were practically impossible before. As I was spotting this image, I started to think about these two. There was an intimacy with each of them that is not in my life 40 years later.
Of course now being in the last quarter of my life, there is a longing for those days. If I could tell my young self the things that I have learned...well wouldn't that be great. As I worked their faces, spotting out little flecks of dust I began to feel close to them again. I remembered caressing her face, and her beautiful dancer's shape. I remember hugging him and jumping up and down when one of his pictures was accepted for a show. Working this image was comforting. I felt the way one does when we realize it's not because I am too old for this, it's because I am too wise for this. I remembered all my flaws from then and, it was quite alright.
Whatever else happened after this image was made so many years ago, I love these people and this moment. Trying to make this image as good as I could, has given that back to me.
Aren't we who love images just so fortunate to be able to travel through time? Unable to change the past, but by looking, feeling something of what was then and informed by the present, now so much more.