I pulled this negative from my archives and decided to have a go printing it the other night. It was a relatively straightforward print to make since the limited tonal range that initially attracted me to the image didn’t need a lot of massaging to come through. As a result, my darkroom decisions were mostly limited to a little cropping and selecting the correct level of filtration on the enlarger to preserve the muted contrast.
I shot this in England in the winter of 1989 and it effectively conveys my rather Spartan accommodations and the sense of emptiness I felt at the time. It was a difficult period — punctured by loss and under the insistent weight of sadness. In more optimistic moments, it also seemed like the start of something new that necessitated a return to bare essentials, like a sink and a mirror. (All the modern conveniences indeed!) Today what I see in this photo is the chill air of a December morning and the quiet light of a grey sky weakly illuminating the world.