Ode to a negative

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by Brian, Feb 3, 2003.

  1. Brian

    Brian Member

    Jan 13, 2003
    Hope you all enjoy this, I wrote this after my first experience developing 35mm black and white film. I hope this is the right forum...

    To a Negative (with apologies to Robert Burns)

    Wee, slip’ry, curly, difficult beastie
    O, what a panic's in my breastie
    As I fumble in the dark
    Juggling wi' an invisible reel
    Will my leader hit the mark?
    Or will I fail in my feel?

    I'm truly sorry my thick fingers
    Leave upon you prints and ringers
    An’ as the reel drops in the tank
    I shudder with worried compulsion
    Images locked away, as in a bank
    What happens next to my emulsion?

    I doubt myself, as I meter the beaker
    Could a man be any meeker?
    I fret an’ flail with formulation
    English, US, inch or milli-liter?
    Developer first? Such trepidation!
    In I pour – an accurate meter?

    Thy wee clockface, I set it thrice
    With nervous fingers cold as ice!
    Mantra mutterin’, every minute, ten
    I agitate, technique unproven
    A tap on the sink, is that right? I ken?
    I set down the tank, it sits, unmovin'

    My minds eye sees gelatin wastin'
    D-76: oh, the images it hastens!
    As Kronos indicates an imminent stop
    Panic-stricken, I watch the clock
    To the sink, I trip and hop
    Pourin’ the chemical out o’ my crock

    That wee bit o' chemistry, ounces only
    Poured out, but now my negative's lonely
    It's time to cease, desist developin’
    The beaker once more beckonin’
    I fill it carefully, my brow wrinklin’
    ‘til tis reached the correct reckonin’

    But negative, thou hast no voice
    It's up to me to make the choice
    What chemicals? When? and How?
    To shake, to pour, to empty out
    Again, sweat stains my furrow’d brow
    My ignorance, technique doth flout!

    An’ now, the steps, they accelerate
    An’ in my head, doubts linger an’ prate
    For Burns said the "schemes o' mice an' men"
    "Gang aft a-gley"
    "An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain"
    "For promised joy"

    The time has come for final rinse
    But my image still, to be viewed hence
    Unbidden, I anticipate, with glee
    The image I attempt to rear
    "An' forward, tho' I canna see,"
    "I guess an' fear!"
  2. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Large Format
    Ahh, we have a resident poet. Very nice...well written and I enjoyed it.
  3. Aggie

    Aggie Member

    Jan 1, 2003
    So. Utah
    Multi Format
  4. SteveGangi

    SteveGangi Member

    Nov 30, 2002
    Southern Cal
    Multi Format
    Like we say in LA, dude you rule [​IMG]
  5. Nige

    Nige Subscriber

    Sep 8, 2002
    Multi Format
  6. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

    Sep 6, 2002
    Large Format
    Well, ok I came across this rap by John Elstad in "that" other site...so here goes:

    The Large Format Rap

    Hiking through the woods with my forty pound pack
    I got my Arca, my Schneiders, and my Bogen on my back
    Wanna capture the scene and get it all right
    But it’s six more hours till I get the perfect light

    So I pull out my Pentax and try to taking a reading
    It’s the Zone system, baby, that my prints are needing
    I measure the highlights, I measure the darks
    I measure every spot in these g*d-d*mn parks

    And them from behind, some sucka yells, “Halt!”
    It’s the park five-oh and with me he’s finding fault
    I’m just hangin’ out here with the bird the bees

    And this upstart sucka thinks I’m shooting at trees
    He’s says, “Drop your gun and do it real slow.”
    I say, “You gotta be kidding. This thing costs a lot of dough.”
    I try to explain. I say, “It’s just a meter.”
    He says, “It looks like a shotgun without its Peter.”

    So I throw down my spot, onto the dirt
    And I know my wallet is gonna feel the hurt
    I spent 23 hours on photo.net
    Before I decided the Zone VI was the best bet
    And now I’m stuck in these beautiful woods
    With all my suddenly useless goods
    I Guess I’ll have to find a way to enjoy the view
    Without seeing it backwards and upside-down too
  7. David Hall

    David Hall Member

    Jan 8, 2003
    South Pasade
    The poem is great, but that rap is hilarious! I had the microphone right next to my mouth while wearing baggy shorts and everything!

  8. SteveGangi

    SteveGangi Member

    Nov 30, 2002
    Southern Cal
    Multi Format
    That was great! I could just see you guys with the baggies, backwards hats and giant shades. WORD! [​IMG]
  9. Mark in SD

    Mark in SD Member

    Jan 13, 2003
    San Diego, C
    Hmmm...I vote for the humor, but I liked the art as well.

    Now, if the Ode to the Negative could be done with an Edgar Allen Poe feeling...
  10. OP

    Brian Member

    Jan 13, 2003
    oh, that rap is good!

    I like the Poe idea - that's what I say after every equipment purchase:

    "Nevermore, nevermore"