After a weekend of taking what could have been the best pictures of my life. I return the camera and go to the darkroom. I was super pleased with the last medium format black and white pictures I took, and I have acquired a taste for black and white photography that I never thought I would.
To my horror vision all the negatives turn out completely dark. My first thought is “what did I do wrong” but the truth is that everything I did was exactly as always except the camera was different!
The only way I can express what I really feel is by lending a word from the Danish or German language.
What I feel is ærgrelse or ärger.
The closest could be regret or disappointment, but it’s neither, perhaps a mixture? Cause can I regret something that I can’t blame on myself? In fact I can blame no one ærgelse is something that either can be with or without a recipient of blame. It holds an element of disappointment and annoyance, but is much less stronger than regret. The closest I could come to this expression when looking thought the thesaurus is “vex”. I have never heard any English speaking person use this term nor have I seen it written, whereas in Danish and German language it is a word, which is in frequent use.
I am disappointed never to get to see my pictures. But within lies also a feeling of wasting time. I have spent time walking around choosing each frame carefully as there are only 12 pictures on each film and put time into developing in the darkroom. All I am left with is 3 blank roll of films, and that is ærgeligt/ärgerlich.
At the same time as having this feeling of ærgrelse, I can’t help but think that this is the name of the game when you take analog photographs. It is always unknown if anything will appear until the development is done. There is an anticipation, which spans over a long period of time, from the moment where the film is inserted into the camera until the negatives are finished developing.
This is why I don’t spend much time grieving over my loss.
My hands still smell of chemicals, I am 36 images short, but tomorrow it will be forgotten and there will be new pictures to take.