Handmask  (Platinum over cyanotype; pinhole) ©Diana H. Bloomfield 

For me, photographs are all about the past.  Even when I photograph to make a statement about the present, or to comment on the future, the image itself-- the one I've just made simply by opening and closing a shutter-- is cemented in the past.  When I look at photographs, no matter whose photographs they are, or when they were made, they inevitably conjure all sorts of memories.  When I look at old photographs of my family, or even of myself, I am staring at tangible memories, often barely recognizing those people in the pictures looking back at me.  And late at night, when I replay events that occurred earlier in my day, those events or conversations appear in my mind as a series of visual narratives, not all that clear or well-defined, and very much like half-remembered dreams.

To help me create images that echo those visual vignettes, I often use pinhole or toy cameras.  Unusual perspectives, long exposures, and a sense of movement and fluidity are inherent with these particular cameras.  Consequently, I am better able to achieve those visual narratives of fugitive dreams and elusive memories.

I choose to print in 19th century hand-applied printing processes.  These antique printing techniques offer me creative freedom and infinite possibilities.  They mesh well with my images, which are always interpretive. The repeated layerings and unintended mis-registration of the gum bichromate process, in particular, remove all the hard and clearly defined edges, resulting in softness and ambiguity-- much the way we see and remember . . .