Living Entrepreneurship Blog / The Arts

A Simple Sense of Delight

David Akiba:

“In my childhood bedroom I set up a makeshift darkroom. The enlarger and chemistry came from the camera stores that lined Bromfield Street in the 1950’s. The smell of developer and fix mixed together like a diluted version of smelling salts and honey. Each step in the process of making a black and white print had its own simple delights. But, the most wondrous and magical was watching the image appear in the developing tray. Forms slowly appeared on a blank sheet of paper until the light-struck space was shimmering with details only the camera could render. I have retained that simple sense of delight for forty years. I return to the darkroom with anticipation, trepidation, and a sense that something new is about to be discovered. The camera catches a glimpse of the places and people I choose to photograph. There are many disappointments. But, so much can happen in the fraction of a second the shutter is open. Intent and chance may link up, and the fusion of the two creates surprising and thrilling results. It is the thrill that keeps me going out with the camera and returning in haste to develop the negatives. As a musician treasures the unique qualities of his instrument, I have come to deeply appreciate the camera’s singular way of rendering space on a flat surface. It has taught me to see the world more acutely, more joyfully. If the photograph is honest, the viewer may travel on a parallel path to its axis of feeling. There is no certainty of meaning, only the possibility of sharing a living moment.”

David Akiba, Arts & Humanities Division at Babson College