i’m exhausted. not physically, but “creatively” this time.
this might be the next thing to learn, being creative on command, having ideas to explore even when three days of stress and hard work have worn me out and drained my imagination and mental images.
precise commands are rather easy to achieve, even when technically challenging, but total freedom is a prison when i’m not completely open to inspiration.
clearly, this is just another phase of changes and acknowledgement of my limits. i tend to distrust afterwards the infallible trust that i’ve put on my instinct when i was making the pictures, even if i don’t remember it being utterly wrong in the past. the rationalization of creation and inspiration doesn’t lead anywhere, but somehow, i wish that it was, even when it would mean that i’d rather trust my brain instead of my guts. but i’m probably not even conscious of it when my brain races as fast as possible to find the good frame and see the good light, but i don’t even have the feeling that i’m making efforts of rational thinking, does it mean that i’m not thinking at all or does it mean that it’s purely instinct by now ?

am i even clear or should i be a hermit for a whole week with the hope to be coherent once again ?

sunday 11 am. : i wake up already exhausted, my legs, back and shoulders are heavy and painful. blame it all on the festival. after half an hour of metro, i drop nine films taken at the festival to the only cheap lab i could find that develop pictures in just an hour on a sunday.
12.25 : after a quick coffee at home, i run back to the lab to get the films, then take another metro to go to my buddy V., the one who’s got a scanner of such a high quality that you could easily scan just the grain of the film. it’s insane.
1.30 pm : while we talk, i cut the negatives and make a first editing of the interesting pictures, the extra small sized index doesn’t give much details, everything looks more or less focused on it, so i’m preparing myself to have really good or really bad surprises when i’ll scan.
2.30 : we eat a bit and have coffee. I’m confident about the timing. everything should be done by 10 this evening.
3.15 : i begin to scan. the colors on the small index look quite cool, on the screen they’re awfully soft, without contrast, with a slight magenta hue…what the fuck ??… i ask V.
well, he says, that’s exactly how your negative look, it’s just that the lab screwed up the index…
we spend half an hour trying to get nice colors, but eventually, V. convinces me that i’d better make the scans and spend some time on the colors later.
5 pm : in between talks and scans, V. proposes me a drink. yeah, 5 is a little bit early for that, but it’s not like i couldn’t use some alcohol.
8 pm : only a couple more films and i’m done. i politely refuse a fourth glass of muscat, make a happy jump to the ceiling when i see that the pictures i was most stressed out about making are gorgeous. simply put : i rule.
9.30 pm : we have dinner, the only thing to do now is to burn cds. there are 4Gb of images. his burner is awfully slow and we drink huge mugs of coffee to avoid falling asleep.
12.05 am : i dash to the metro, the cds in my bag and my monthly cramps on the rise. i envision possibilities about the worst. the cds won’t work. the scans looked okay at V’s, but will look terrible on my screen. i’ll take my meds too late and i’ll spend the night puking instead of working. i’ll fall asleep on my keyboard and will wake up two minutes before the deadline. it was all a dream and i’m going to wake up.

1.15 am : i reach home and take my meds, open photoshop only, check out if the cds work, pour myself some coke, keep my cigarettes at reach, and start to work.
the first bunch of images require some time to find the right colors and contrast, but that’s exactly how i like it. the creative and thinking working part.
3.30 am : i find out that i’m talking to myself, which is a sign that i need to be kept awake. it’s too late for loud music, so i find my old MD player and play JJ cale in loop.
4.10 am : the first bunch of pictures is ready. i’m delirious and excited.
i love deadlines, especially the kind that push me to work fast and well, to give my best in a limited time, to work at night on my own, to feel time running away, to know that if i don’t make it i might as well go back to work at the shop, to know that if i screw up, i won’t have people’s trust anymore. it’s exciting, but more than that, it’s plain fun.
i don’t work for a reward. when it comes to photography, i don’t want to do half of a job or settle for mediocrity, i just want things to be as good as i can make them. if i work hard and spend a night on images, it’s only because i said that the pictures could be ready on time, and if i said so, it isn’t because i hoped that i could make it, it’s because i would make it.

5.30 am : i’m hungry, i want sushis. the second bunch of pictures is taking ages, the colors don’t need work, but a million dusts seem to have found their way on the negatives while i was scanning, and it’s a pain in the eyes to have to erase them now. talking about pain, the cramps have been killed by now, my lower stomach is just heavy and my back hurts only a little. things could be a lot worse.
6.20 am : the second bunch is ready at last. i send it to my journalist, she must be asleep and a bit of envy strikes me. exhaustion makes me a bit less delirious and instead of sushis, i chill out with swiss chocolate.
the third bunch takes a hell of time, too, i’m unable to choose which pictures my editor will like, so i gather up the courage to work on most of them, as long as they aren’t blurry. there are even more dust spots and scratches to remove and the colors need some thoughts as well.
8.20 am : i notice that it’s daylight already outside. i laugh. i’m cold and my eyes burn a bit, but i fall in love with four pictures at least and i take it as a sign that it was well worth the trouble and stress.
9 am : the third bunch is finished, yay. i try to make a funny mail to my journalist, but i think i fail to have a nice morning humour. the fact is that i’m almost sad that it’s finished. i imagine that she’s still asleep, so i’m surprised to see her answer. she proposes to help with the images transfer to the editor so i can go to sleep and not wake up at noon, and i’m too grateful to express it.
11.10 am : the images are all sent and transferred. i’m not sure how i’m going to fall asleep, since it’s a gorgeous day outside and the sun is pouring in my room through a thin curtain, but as soon as my nerves calm down a bit, i fall asleep still grinning.

8 pm : i wake up. i take a shower. i still want sushis.
tomorrow i have a session with a band.
saying that i love my job to death is an understatement.

…from rock en seine, the sexiest festival ever.

i don’t know what i mean by that, but it’d been a couple of posts that i hadn’t said sex.

ghaaa, where’s my bed now ?

cigarettes are still cheaper than rolls of films.

“The greatest lost track of all time:
The Late Greats’ “Turpentine”
You can’t hear it on the radio
You can’t hear it anywhere you go

The best band will never get signed
K-Settes starring Butcher’s Blind
Are so good, you won’t ever know
They never even played a show
You can’t hear ‘em on the radio

The greatest singer in rock and roll
Would have to be Romeo
His vocal chords are made of gold
He just looks a little too old

The greatest lost track of all time:
The Late Greats’ “Turpentine”
I can’t hear it on the radio
I don’t hear it anywhere I go

The best song will never get sung
The best life never leaves your lungs
So good, you won’t ever know
I never hear it on the radio
Can’t hear it on the radio”

late greats – wilco