Dust and wrinkles

I’m encountering new hurdles in producing my new cyanotype series and I’m not talking about birds targeting my contact glass, or geckos running over my drying prints. Suddenly I don’t have enough material to work on! So far I have had my negatives printed on transparents in Europe with the first batch for this particular series made last September when I was on a short trip. Now, it appears, the same printing company has let me down at the very last minute. I had sent the files over – it actually took me a day or so to send 25 photographs with these bad connections – and yesterday a friend was going to pick them up just a day before his trip to Senegal and discovered that the war had not been done.

Living in the Sahel region has its benefits: throughout the year you have a lot of sun, which is just great for developing your photos. Then in August & September you may have a couple of days when there is no time to even think about photography because you’re either busy trying to prevent the rain from entering the house, or you are busy trying to remove all that water that has just flooded in. Then in winter months, on and off, you have days like today with so much dust that can barely see the sun. With the help of a strong wind from the east the red dust finds its way in through almost anything; in the case of this house it’s mostly from between the doors and thresholds. Sweeping is an almost laughable exercise, because when you are finished you need to start all over as new dust has just landed when you turned your back. No chance for developing photographs on days like this – or even taking any photos! It’s just better to stay indoors and avoid asthma. I did adventure outdoors today on one occasion though, with high hopes that now that my friend’s luggage will not have my negatives in it, I would be able to get them from a local print shop. As a test, this is what I got:

Neg_failure

On a more positive note, this friend who is running the print shop is ready to turn the world over in hope of finding better transparents that would not melt in the process. Despite his admirable energy I may have to adjust my project time wise, which is fine, or I may have to make a quick trip to Dakar and look around for better transparents some time in early 2018. To be continued.. with Happy New year wishes to each and everyone!

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