In the intro of the Leica Conversations episode with Joseph Michael Lopez, he says:
The kind of photography that interests me, that makes me wake up in the morning, is work that is felt. It’s gestural. It’s poetic. It’s lit and punctuated with light in a way where it makes me rethink my relationship to reality.
That quote came to mind when I was looking at this image and deciding how to edit it. I haven’t talked about my typical editing style when it comes to black and white photography yet in this project, so a quick intro on that subject is in order. Most of the time, I prefer an aesthetic of very dark shadows and bright (but not blown) highlights. Along with this high level of overall contrast, I also love images that have a lot of micro-contrast that rounds out the image and gives it more of an immersive, three-dimensional feel.
Needless to say, this image isn’t edited that way.
You see, this image isn’t one that I want to feel sharp and three-dimensional. It’s not intended to wow the viewer with punchy contrast or communicate some big scene. It’s more so meant to be felt and to try to communicate some of the feeling that I had at that moment in time.
Work has been rough lately. It’s been busy in the worst kind of way: it’s all about trying to undo needless barriers and battle uphill against hills our company is fortifying against us. Richard Thaler would call it “sludge”. I’m weary. And I’m fading.
This feeling of fading is one that I deliberately worked into the editing of the image. Rather than a typical edit with sharpness and contrast, I faded out the blacks and softened the whites. There’s a fogginess to the image. That’s how I was feeling at the time when I was sitting back down for another round of sludge after dinner last week. Weary. Foggy. Faded.