Roopa Malde, Gujerat, India, 1995.
Platinum-palladium print on (Wyndstone) vellum from original 8×10 inch negative.
This sounds like the beginning of a bad novel: the air was thick with incense. But it was. And then we burned even more, because as Roopa, my distant cousin, sat down to be photographed, she loved the idea of little float-bubbles of smoke being caught in the sunbeams pouring in through the window. Yet, it was dark, a 1 second exposure, subject brightness range of over 14 stops, crazy I thought, and hoping that, when I would develop the film months later from a stack of other exposed film, I would find this sheet and process it properly with severely reduced development. It all worked, a gift. And I think this is one of the best prints I have ever made.