I didn't stop at collecting butterflies and bugs, but I discovered tadpoles which changed into frogs and snakes which shed their skins. Turtles, baby opossums and snakes were brought into our home, much to our mothers displeasure. We discovered some strange lizard like creatures we called mud puppies which crept along the bottoms of our local creeks. We, however were never successful in their capture.
We changed schools when our little Catholic school ran out of funds and I met a group of boys from our new school that loved collecting fossils. We lived near Terre Haute, an old coal mining city. So much coal was at the foundation of that area that fossils could be found on the surace of the ground, even in our gravel driveways. Petrified life, which were once living animals, sea life, bugs or even leaves now trapped in layers of mud and rock, squeezed and then changed into rock over thousands of years.
The old silver, black and white photo processes were systems of change. Light sensitive chemicals were applied over glass and later, flexible plastic acetone sheets and were left to dry. When exposing a picture, light would pour through the lens of a camera until it hit the surface of this chemically treated piece of acetate. When this light came into contact with the glass plate or acetone the dried chemical would begin to swell. In the old days, the man processing this film would pour a liquid called developer over this plastic sheet which would come into contact with the dried, now swollen chemical lump. A chemical reaction occurred and turned this swollen lump into a splotch of silver. After a period of minutes he would pour this solution out. Next, a fluid called the Stop bath was poured in to cause the silver transition process to cease and it too was dumped out after a period of time. A third fluid, called the Fix bath would be poured over the silver lump to freeze and harden this silver splotch into an image on this piece of acetate film. Silver is metal and is not transparent so no light can pass through this hardened film. Where light hit the acetate the image went black. Where no light was recorded the acetate remained clear. This same application of chemicals are repeated on photosensitive coated paper. The acetate is now called a negative. When light shines through the negative and hits the photosensitive paper the image goes dark. When the silver on the negative blocks the light which is passing through, the image remains white on paper. The image is now frozen onto the paper. Like the fossil and the caterpillar, the image had evolved and changed into something very different.
I am a collector. I collect memories and frozen moments of beauty with a camera and a paintbrush.