SMALL THINGS SMALL WONDER

By Clive Oxford

 

I don’t know why I take pictures; it’s almost as though they take me. In a moment; a small moment, a small wonder. Just do it, take it now while it’s ‘got you’.

 

When I first discovered photography as a teenager, it certainly had to do with the naive and youthful fantasies of erotic, exotic, dangerous, bohemian, wilder worlds and, I’m sure, fame and fortune!

 

However it also came with something more lasting; akin to the kind of magic I didn’t understand in the darkroom. Perhaps there was a magic in the digital form that I hadn’t discovered yet; not that I’d understand it either!

 

When I started looking at the digital images I’d stored over the last decade or so I couldn’t work out what I was doing at first; I just kept looking and wondering why. It was as if there was something in them that hadn’t yet been released, but I didn’t know how to do it. Perhaps I was imagining it and they held no great virtue after all?

 

Then one day, enlarging one on the computer screen, playing with it a little, as you can these days, something happened. It brought back memories of the darkrooms I’d worked in, burning’ and ‘dodging’ under the enlarger to enhance the original image. I became excited again, this time without the fantasies!

 

Yet, still, how to reproduce these images in the way that really made sense to me remained a mystery. I started to wonder how they might look on different papers and with different printing techniques; how that might change the feeling of the images, how it might alter how they felt. I realised that was important to me. How they felt; to have a feeling, a kinaesthetic feeling, as if to touch them almost. I am pleased with them.

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