W, a Boy in the Woods:a Portrait.

W, a Boy in the Woods:a Portrait.

France early 90s Mamiya C330 with Tri-X pan. likes to be printed big.


  1. Christophe, This is David Elrod who you wrote such wonderful emails to a few years ago when I was down and depressed. I too have thousands of negs made over my 52 years in B&W photography. They all are archival saved and stored in my now closed darkroom at a constant temperature of 68 degrees. You encouraged me to not be so depressed that I could no longer get a print like the ones I made with my view camera and various other film cameras. Being a relic of the analogue age and having seen so many prints made by 20th century photographers at The Museum of Modern Art in NYC in several shows by John Szarkowski which included Mirrors and Windows; and able to also see The New Topographics at age 25 at the Eastman House in Rochester NY in 1975 which was a turning point that pushed me further into large format due to the Landscapes I saw there by Robert Adams, Nicholas Nixon, Frank Gohlke, Joe Deal and others I just can’t remember who were all young photographers as I was, plus seeing contact prints by Edward Weston, Minor White, Harry Callahan, Emmett Gowin and a host of others; I would agree with you whole heartedly that “Good Enough” for the photographer is the only way to go. I mixed my own chemicals from 1967 until 2000 when I was hospitalized with pneumonia and chemical poisoning. That was the end of film for me. Now I am frustrated and getting very old and feeble. Carrying 40 pounds on my back through the Sonoran Desert for 30 years which included many falls and head concussions, a broken leg, and smashed fingers. Then the paper that I used Kodak AZO became so rare and hard to get so my contact printed AZO selenium toned, and gold bathed prints was just not there and I was not able to continue. Switching to Digital has been so difficult but after your encouragement I just started making prints on all kinds of papers using all kinds of pigment inks but settling on Jon Cone Piezography B&W inks and finding Canson Infinity Papers with Cone’s Carbon inks has made me new again. I have just purchased a Sony Alpha a7r with the 36.4 MP sensor and am hoping that I can reuse my old 35mm lenses all Canon’s with F1.2 through 32 F-stops on most of my favorites plus a new FE 35mm2.8 that fits the A7r like a glove I am still going for that same quality that I have remembered so well. I may be able to stratal both film and digital now with a few more years of mobility but I am getting old and am filled with arthritis and constant pain and my hands are failing. So, I would like to just conclude by emphasizing that you should not get wrapped up in densitometry or creation of ICC’s cause time burns up fast and the way to go is to simply be satisfied yourself with all of the prints that are “Good Enough” for you. Because they are you and if you feel that they are good enough for you that is all it takes then move on quickly. Don’t try to be another Ansel Adams or some famous photographer that sells lots of prints, because the true path is to just keep your eyes on the goal and do whatever you can to leave behind portfolios of your prints. That is the heart of a true B&W photographer. I now do feel that I will be an unknown but I have the gift of a passion that has filled me with Joy. That is all there is. The Joy of Doing It is the only reward you will be happiest with when you are getting old. I will be following you and recording these so if I have another 10 years I might begin to do some of the stored negs if possible. Don’t go for a screen as there is nothing like creating something beautiful on paper that is tactile and you can feel. There is a huge difference between color web photography and print. Go with prints in B&W and you will find a richness that you can enjoy until its time to check out and vanish ion the void.

    David Elrod, Phoenix Arizona

    • Hi David,
      how good it is to hear from you. I imagine your difficulties and rejoice that you’re battling against them to continue making photos. I am short on time right now but am looking forward to getting back to you at greater length…My fundamental ambition , and in this blog in particular, is to present images that matter to me, that capture I hope those fleeting moments, grand or small that make up life and hopefully resonate with some viewers..I strive for them to have a facture technically adequate in tone, contrast, information and colour when I use it. I too am aware that life doesn’t go on forever.
      But more than any photo, I cherish exchanges like ours.
      Take care

      • You do have the heart which doesn’t function unless it is trying to resonate with some human being whether now or 100 years from now. That is the essence of Compassion and concern for your allow man.
        Glad to re-connect again,it is hard to find someone that you can empathize with in tis lifetime too.
        Take Care of yourself,

  2. Sorry for spelling but arthritis does hit the hands rather badly when they have been broken.

  3. my email is frogfoto.com@googlemail.com.;don’t hesitate to contact me on it, I’d be delighted

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