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 often choose to print in 19th century hand-applied printing processes.  These antique printing techniques offer me real creative freedom and mesh well with my images, which are nearly always interpretive and suggestive. The repeated layerings 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..