IN THE MISSING PICTURE
Though, I’ve just recently gotten used to digital, this particular missing picture awakened my desire to go back to film (1). What I’ve had recorded with this old film camera perfectly matched it’s visual traces in my mind, and took me back to two years ago.
Two Years Ago, November, 2008, about noon, Ankara
“It was a rainy day in Ankara… I was out documenting the gloom and melancholy of the city. I walked for a while, and as the rain became heavier I took refuge under the first door step. It was the passageway going into the German Cultural Center. The arcade was quiet, there was nothing in view than the dim light falling in from outside. I remained indoors, and watched the people under the heavy downpour of rain hurrying across the street. Rain drops were thrown all over with the strong wind making umbrellas useless. As I reached for my camera to take a picture of the moment, a man rushed inside and stood on the left side of the door. I knew more people would fill up the space and this perfect shot I was hoping to catch was going to be ruined, momentarily. Still I was able to make a few shots. This is all I remember from that day.
Now, March, 2011, dawn, Ankara
This old film negative lacked my attention till recently. Top half is ruined. I hold it towards the light for a quick look and noticed a silhouette, which I don’t recall including in the frame. My intention was to only capture the man waiting by the door. But now that I am looking at it, this silhouette, which entered the frame without my consent is making the picute more vibrant. It inspires me.
A Few Detaıis
I looked at the images closely. Apparently, I used two cameras; one digital and one film. I remember that I was taking a black and white picture using the parameters of my digital camera, but shooting with my film camera. Regarding that moment I have three images. First one taken with a digital camera (5), the other two with my film camera (6-7). I printed all three of them, and placed them in front of me thinking why this missing picture has influenced me this deeply.
If then, I’ve had chosen to shoot in digital only, when I notice the silhouette in the frame I would probably just erase the file, and shoot a new one just with the man in the hallway. My intention was to photograph him in the end. But this silhouette waited patiently inside the film roll till I process it. The love of chemistry and physics result in photography. To exist, light falls on the film and persistently holds onto the reflections. The digital technology excludes chemistry outside of this relationship. As a reaction to that, perhaps it chooses to be ephemeral, easily erased; a quiet suicide. If I’ve had taken this image simply following my intentions back then, what it signifies to me now would not do enough justice to the actual moment. But this accidentally captured silhouette reminds me about the emergent quality of life; chance; it’s not all constructed. So every time I look at the silhouette, it will remind me that I was in the moment. And I am, now.
I saw my own shadow just now
Then, I exist…