Nothing is permanent. Everything fades away.
Impermanence is the notion of fading things. For my photography class, we were given a project to create photograms so we could play around with exposure and familiarize ourselves with printing images in the darkroom. A photogram is basically an image created with the absence of camera just by exposing a certain kind of paper to light (usually with an enlarger) and printing it the old fashioned way: with chemicals such as developer, stop bath, and fixer.
The process was tedious; going back and forth and waiting for a certain amount of time to develop the photographs, but nevertheless it was an incredible experience. (It was always my dream to learn how to develop my own photos and films, and this class is finally giving me the time of my life.) The moment the assignment was handed in class, I already thought of experimenting with multiple exposures to create abstract images as opposed to direct or planned ones. I wanted it to be purely mysterious and accidental and that’s exactly what happened. I didn’t give it much thought but I did do a bit of research just to get a gist of how I can create what I wanted to achieve.
By exposing the paper to a fixed aperture with changing time intervals of 1, 2 and 4 seconds and moving the objects around the paper, I was able to manipulate the outcome and create layers of images. These were my very first try and it was meant to be experimental (not final), but seeing how it all turned out just made me want to present it as it is for the critique. Earlier when we were asked to put up and curate our photograms, I realized that my three pieces told a story of progression. Of objects fading away. There was something magical in the way that accidents and mishaps happen to have a mysterious and poetic outcome.
If there’s a few things I learned from this project, it would be this:
Play with phenomena. Embrace accidents. Most importantly, appreciate and find comfort in your process.