Vintage Photos: New Sunlight at the Doors
Sophie observes as I clean up the front porch on a late autumn afternoon.
Photographing through glass always softens things, and often odd reflections add interesting elements to the photo. Sophie was all about softness, with all that fur, and interesting elements with her babushka and dramatic eyeliner. The extra added artifacts from the glass and reflection make the photo look a little more vintage than it actually is.
These photos are more of autumn in black and white, as Sophie and Namir enjoy the new light coming in the front and back doors. The sun creeps to a lower and lower angle until the solstice, and the leaves fall from the trees until they are bare, and for a few short months we have sunshine in the house, glorious sunpuddles for kitties to enjoy. I had such a wonderful moment watching Namir enjoy the sun streaming in the back door into the kitchen just after breakfast. He couldn’t get enough of it, and I couldn’t get enough of him. It’s not a pivotal moment or even that uncommon, but I remember it and the bond we both felt in that simple moment.I was photographing
I was photographing autumn in black and white to challenge what I see and what I think I know, to see the shapes and details and the compositions, leaving me with textures and patterns that are the foundations of my compositions. In this case they are all interiors, but amber sun, all the comforting warm tones, change to values of gray in black and white, but the light…the light is still that distinctive angle, nearly horizontal sometimes, highlighting details you might not notice in any other season. And this was black and white film, because there is nothing like black and white film, with lenses and filters, not digital shots with effects, so it was even more challenging than the immediate reassurance of checking the little display on my digital camera.
I found a box of black and white photos that I knew had existed but had been separated from the rest. They are from 2004 to 2006, so not terribly vintage, but because black and white processing became more and more difficult during those years I had to wait to see my photos. I found local film developers who would still do a few rolls and took several at once, then tucked them all together in a box and in my studio. Over the course of those three years, just before I bought my DSLR but still had a halfway decent Olympus digital, I went out to the garden, to my neighborhood, and to the trails with a roll or two of black and white film in October or November.
Sophie enjoyed the sun at the back door too, but instead of making her roll around in happiness, she let it soak in and went into deep contemplation. And she wants to know why I had to interrupt her contemplation.
Later on this roll, and likely later in the same day, Sophie came to the front door as I spent some time working outside. I have a few more things on the front porch right now, but I’ve gotten it down to the essentials for winter so we can get all that light onto the porch, and into the door.
Namir came along to check me too. I am never at a loss for supurrvision.
And just for fun, on the same roll I took photos of my street from the top and from the bottom. Just how steep is my street? This steep.
My house is that white one you can see the side of right about center. The spruce in front of it is the one that’s in my pictures outside my house.
Below, my street from the other end of the street that you see in the mid-left of the photo above. my house is just where the street starts to lift, about where the tallest tree that nearly touches the top of the photo is—that’s actually the maple that used to be in front of my house.
See more Vintage Photos, scanned from prints on film through the years and photos From the Archives which were never featured here.
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Feline Photographs from Portraits of Animals!
Sophie was always in one of the windows when I left and when I returned, and she always managed to use the curtains to dramatic advantage. This is one of my fondest memories of her, nestled in the creamy lace with the spring-blooming forget-me-nots in the windowbox. Read more, and purchase.
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3 thoughts on “Vintage Photos: New Sunlight at the Doors”
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Aww, so gorgeous! Sophie’s photos look old-timey, and lovely!
I set up the filters with the lens on my original Pentax K1000 film camera just for that look. A few weeks ago when I posted other images of cats and my garden I used the same setup, all with black and white film. I love it.