Tag Archives: black and white photography

The Drummer in the Band (IV)

(C) 2015 by Metta Anderson - All Rights Reserved
(C) 1993 by Metta Anderson. All Rights Reserved

(C) 1993 by Metta Anderson. All Rights Reserved

Les Belles
(Dedicated to Emily Dickinson and Dorothy
Parker, "Les Belles des Lettres.")

As future poet laureate of the Americas
Belle of Bogotá
I have a question "entre nous"--
De mujer a mujer
or sister to sister,
as they say.

Would  you today
become a blonde?
Would you as a woman
dress in coctel noir most elegant
and then--
Champagne glass to hand--
THROW yourself
Across the tymps of a man
who makes you stay up all night,

Would you drive a 'Vette?
Or stick with the sedate,
a serious sedan--
4 doors V -8 plus options?

Can your mind and heart still make you a poet
When your body dances cumbia
And your soul
Marries another culture?

What does a Belle do
These days?

(C) 30 January 1995

The Drummer in the Band
So okay
I'll tell you
in English

about the project
you'll get me
a cigarette
a Kool

Thank you.

We stand
side by side
against a car
in the sun
in a parking lot
He waits
I smoke

what happened 

I got the hots
for the drummer
in the band


Instead of doing
a gliss
on his fingers
as I planned


Sucked cherries
from his navel
as I dreamed

I wrote
and then

I took pictures

the cake

The band
and the rest
Decorative sugar
to cover my intent

To possess
be possessed

The drummer
the band

(C) February 2014
(C) 1993 by Metta Anderson. All Rights Reserved.

(C) 1993 by Metta Anderson. All Rights Reserved.


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The Drummer in the Band (I)

(C) Text and Images 2015 by Metta Anderson All Rights Reserved

The following six poems and five photos form a small book that I put together recently. It’s an experiment for me because I’ve only thought about doing this but was afraid to try.

The book itself is handmade–accordian pleat spine holding the front and back covers (Fabriano 600 gr). The poems inside are typed on cream-colored Kimberly because computers require the installation of a very expensive program (Adobe’s “In Design” or similar) before allowing poets to create a layout that fits the work. The photos are digitally printed from my negatives only because I do not have money to buy the chemicals to make my own prints. I hope to remedy this in the future.

Because of economic limitations, I’m publishing the book in sections–two poems and a photo today; more next week. I’m following the book’s layout so, by the time it’s complete, it will be in reverse order. Sorry about that. But feel free to re-arrange the order when everything’s published.



percussive prince

I see you
hear you
feel you

All those bongos
and congas
and animal hide tambores
talking at once
to me
about you

talking to

And me
in black and white
in Juan Valdez
some night
drinking tinto

And me
watching you
through a viewfinder
like before

And you
know it
play to it
love it

While the camera
and I
love you back
in black and white

(C) 17 september 2013

osc008(C) 1993 by Metta Anderson



Ludwigs and Marlboros
and I'm gone.
Druggies and junkies
know grass and coke and horse
and the pleasures derived

With me
it's you
and the unknown pleasures

One whiff
one snort
one look
at your hands
     on the drums
     on the sticks
and I'm gone

And I'm so supercharged
I'm not here
And I don't want to be

I'm lost in you
     Cocaine Z
And I want to stay
     that way.

24 September 1994

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La Pequeña Galería – Part II

I neglected to clarify something technical in the original post about the gallery re-opening, so please consider this a kind of post-script.

The black and white photographs for sale in the gallery are printed from negatives in a traditional darkroom. I used to process my own negatives and still can, if really necessary, but these days, one film manufacturer of 120 mm black and white film winds it so tightly on the spool I can’t find the beginning of it in the dark, much less flatten out a slight “tongue” to get it on the reel for the developing tank. Fortunately, I know a couple of labs who can develop the film and do it well, also at a low (affordable!) price. However, if it becomes necessary, I will go back to processing my own film.

Anyway, I have an excellent darkroom, the chemicals are available and inexpensive (practically free compared to the price of an ink cartridge) and I have a lot of paper. And I LIKE to print my own work. In fact, I can print other people’s negatives, too, if anyone needs that done in a traditional darkroom.

I was all set to transfer all this printing to digital until yesterday, when I looked at three prints I had made from negatives scanned into my computer. I have copies of the images which I made in the darkroom, along with the printing notes. I’ve sold almost 100 copies of one of the images in question, and I know that people like it very much. And there it was, in a handsome white frame, no mat board, pretty much stuck to the glass.


This is a street scene, at night. As a darkroom print for exhibition, I mount and mat it, and I sign it on the border just below the image. Personally, I liked to use the heaviest Kimberley cardstock I could find (220 gr) in navy blue as the mat. Almost all the buyers liked it this way too. When I hung the work in the bigger gallery, framed, I switched to white Crescent board. (Mat boards of any color are extremely hard to find here. The best ones are Fabriano, in white only, at around US$50/sheet, and a sheet will give me maybe six mat boards. I did the math and decided to wait til I’m very very rich and famous before I buy the Fabriano.)

Anyway, I made a nearly perfect 11″ x 14″ digital print of this image on Epson Ultra Premium Presentation Paper Matte, in the 13″ x 19″ size.

But under glass and without a mat, it became just a black abstract graphic, with no soul or any of the other characteristics that had attracted so many people in the past. (Attracted, in fact, a month ago, a young woman for whom photography consists of aiming her cell phone at something and pressing a button. She found a small copy of this image in my catalogue, which I was showing to her boss, and became so wrapped up in it that she wanted to keep the catalogue.)

The man who runs the gallery where the three images are for sale does like the image, but I suspect he likes the framing a lot more. He said he could not afford to put a mat around the image, as it would raise the price of the frame + image. I did not argue.

However, I must ask–does anyone understand that, even in digital, a photograph is a photograph, and not some scribble on a cheap sheet of 90 lb bond?

I know that framing can help to sell a painting, a print or a photograph. Until yesterday, though, I didn’t know it could actually kill an image, but it can.

Therefore, anyone who visits the gallery should know that the photographs are really photographs, made in a darkroom, by me. They are not downloaded from the internet nor run through a printer at a lab. They are the genuine article–an image captured by me on film, probably in a Pentax, printed by me in my own darkroom, and matted and mounted by me or by my associate, Fernando. This is my version of fine art photography. Come take a look.
(C) 2012 by Metta Anderson – All Rights Reserved


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