At a loss

I’m at a loss.  

I don’t remember making this image.  And while I don’t recall making this image, I am 100% certain that I was the one who made it.  That may sound ridiculous but when you are married to a photographer and have a few kids, suspicious frames can sometimes just appear on rolls that aren’t of your making.  But not this one.  It’s indubitably “me” in composition and subject and contrast, yet I have no memory of it prior to seeing it on the light table.  It’s not accidental because It’s too deliberate.  I don’t drink and shoot so I was definitely conscious when I made it, but I’m drawing a blank.  

The frame before it I remember, fully. It was on the way back to the car in Manhattan Beach, right after the Santa picture.  There was this kid reading a book at a coffee shop, all sprawled out, not caring that his feet were sticking-out from between two bars of the fence his legs were crammed up against.  I remember seeing the frame, before I took it, stopping-down, pre-focusing the camera to 1.5 meters and crouching slightly to get the frame perfect–I wanted the kid’s shoes in the frame as well as his book.  I wanted it to be dark dark dark hence the stopping down.  It was as intentional as this frame in every way.  

Likewise the frame after I fully remember.  I was on my way back to the car when I saw an empty store with a guard sitting in the middle of the emptiness talking on a phone.  The walls were stark white and bare and there was a vinyl sign hanging across the font.  I turned on the spot, opening up to what felt right shutter-wise… maybe 30 and focused as the guard was getting up out of the chair.  I figured the shot would be motioned blurred and it was, slightly, but the exposure was 100.  The framing was perfect.  

So I have my bookends, but the mystery persists.  I’m sure I’ll remember eventually, but nothing’s coming to me.  I do know it was shot on my Mamiya 6MF on Kodak Tri-X film pushed to 800.  I do know it was processed at the Icon.  Maybe I need a new multi-vitamin.  

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