It is Easter time. We had planned to go to the mountains to celebrate my mother’s birthday. The whole family would have reunited once again from France and Belgium at the Franco-Spanish border, like a seasonal migration. We would have gone on a hike, along a winding path, protected from the sun by the mountain pine trees. A picnic in the grass, and a nice bottle of Rioja wine would have wrapped us in a gentle torpor, reading a book in the shade or napping in a feeling of sheer happiness.
The Coronavirus outbreak put a stop to that perspective, and we are confined in our small Paris apartment, without a yard, or even a balcony. Days have gone by and my phone started to remind me it was time to leave for Easter vacation. And then, instead of the rolling landscape I was supposed to see, I took a long look around me. This sofa, this table, this bed: the apartment actually became the so-desired scenery from my vacation.
I decided to tell everybody I was on vacation. And, when you think about it, is there any better vacation symbol than a postcard?
It was obvious that I had to make my own postcards, wasn’t it?
The postcards process
First, I needed material for the postcards. I had a loaded film in my Voigtlander Bessa L, and took random pictures of the apartment. Most of them were taken using a Canon 50mm f:1.8 lens. I then processed the film (Ilford FP4, in D76 1+3).
Once the photo lab was set up in the bathroom, I printed them on fiber-based paper (you can see them being washed in the image below), and dried them taped to the wall tiles. If you have a better way of preventing the prints from shriveling like dead leaves, please share it. I still have to press them in a book for a week. Fiber-based paper was an obvious choice since you can write on them with a regular pen (and on both faces).
The tricky part was finding a way to get the legend under the photo, like a vintage postcard. After considering a few options, I decided to go and print them on a sheet of paper with a laser printer. I then transferred the print on the photograph with acetone. For the back, I used a custom made stamp I ordered a while ago, when I was working on another postcard project, and voilà!
Time to write
I now have to write and send my babies. They display an incredible vacation I had, without which I never have taken the time to go through a photo project. How is YOUR vacation going?
CONFINEMENT – Sofa and adjacent wall (detail)
Photos shot with a Voigtlander Bessa L and Canon 50mm f:1.8 lens on Ilford FP4 film and processed in D76 1+3 dilution. Printed on Adox MCC 110 fiber-based paper, legends from a laser print acetone transfer.
EDIT : Postcards were sent and arrived at their destination!