After the 'torso against skirting board' Good Friday shoot today I went to two closed down industrial sites. This one is going to be resurrected as, is often the case, housing (according to the guy who scaled the fence shortly after I'd gone in.) It was still windy from the storm which battered the town last night and there was a lot of booming and banging sounds as loose corrugated metal panels and one or two rooflights were blown back and forth. Outside clouds of dust and grit were being whipped up.There wasn't much of a smell inside but when I got home my clothes and skin smelled of potassium and ammonia.
I'm reading Emerson's book on photography theory and practice at the mo, written around 1888, I think. Suddenly his pictures have a surprising immediacy. Although he's the early spokesperson for straight photography he emphasises the importance of working with an impression of a scene, not being tied to facts. The photograph is a translation of a scene and tone was his key interest. So he says things like "some of the best work done has been produced from negatives made purposely thin, which have at the same time been true in tone, and full in breadth." (p. 156) His practice was to shoot two plates, developing on location, repeatedly dunking the film in developer and using different sized brushes to work the tonal development locally. The first negative would then be scrutinised before processing the second based on what was revealed.