‘The secret world you’ve been home inventing in black and white’

In a recent issue of Paris Review magazine, the writer Allan Gurganus talks about his daily work routine:

‘On schedule you go through familiar rituals that’ve at least produced satisfying results. Most days such work can go on till 2 or 3. Then you get to do your banking or shopping or gardening. You again become a citizen of the sloppy capitalist realm after shoring up the secret world you’ve been home inventing in black and white’

It’s true too of analogue photography. The best work hours are morning to early afternoon, for the simple reason that the prints have to be washed. You can expose a photogram far faster than the half hour it takes to rinse them properly. It’s very tempting to go on past the early afternoon, particularly if nothing has really worked yet, or if the experimentation is yielding great results and you want the moment to continue. But the unwashed prints pile up and time runs out..

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