A Digital Sketchpad in my Analog World

What juxtaposition! I decided what a cool idea to shoot the cartridge on the LP playing in our listening room last evening. Now, I know I’d really like to shoot this on film, but, I decided that my digital camera is a great tool to work out all the details – exposure, focal length, lighting – then decide what I like, and pursue the image on film. So, my digital camera became my digital sketchpad. Seems that’s happened a lot lately, and stay tuned, because there is another “digital sketch” that I’ll be sharing that has a future on film!

It was about five years ago this fall, and I remember what I said to my husband, Randy, “I’d really like to hear some vinyl again.” And, what proceeded was Pandora’s box, opening as wide as possible! My husband, you have to realize, is an old audiophile, and a new one at that. We’ve hauled around McIntosh power amps, and giant JBL speakers for years, moving them from Atlanta to Colorado Springs. So I said let’s go get a turntable, and hook everything up! We hit the thrift stores, Independent Records, and other hot spots for vinyl – new and used! When I scored an old album that my “then-stupid-twenty-something-self” tossed (along with all my CDs) all those years ago, I cheered. And, at the same time, said I could just kick myself. Who tosses vinyl for MP3 files? I’ll stop here to agree with all the wonderful older friends I’ve had throughout my life, yes, wisdom does come with age!

We proceeded to pick up a turntable, and that night, I remember it was something amazing. I was changing the laundry over, and all of a sudden, Freeze Frame by the J. Geils Band came out of the speakers and the sound, well, all I can say is it was like shooting film and looking at that beautiful grain in those negatives fresh out of the wash. It had soul, it had character, and it sounded like music should sound. After all these years, I love to see a print come up in the developer in the darkroom! I get excited when my students see it for the first time, and I love their reaction! Just last week, I got to experience the awe and wonder with my large format group, after that first round of film was developed and we turned on the light, 10 students looked in their trays and the oohh’s and aahh’s were delightful! I never grow tired of that. And, like the magic of film, the magic of music delights every time I put an LP on the turntable. Some nights, it’s like Jimi is in the room, and other nights, I can hear the background sounds of the fellas in a blues band ribbing one another and clinking their glasses…bourbon, neat, I would guess!

LP Sketch #3
LP Sketch #3
Skip to content