What can happen in seven seconds? it takes about 7 seconds to tie a tie, to tie your shoe, pick a lock and if you’re good solve a rubik’s cube. Lots of things can happen in 7 seconds. When you are anxious seven seconds seems like an eternity, when you aren’t it’s just 7seconds. Some say seven seconds is all you have when you make a first impression on someone.

To me, seven seconds is my ideal paper negative exposure. I don’t count 1 – 2- 3 .. et c. but I add something fun like 1 sniffle, 2 sniffles, 1 Houdini, 2 Houdinis &c. My seven count isn’t exact but it’s close enough. The paper receives an impression and I convert that impression into a paper negative.

I use home brewed caffenol C, made with sumatran robusta coffee I roast myself. I use tap water, which I am sure is more than just water, and a splash of expired sprint paper developer. I put on nitrile gloves, remove the paper from the film holders, put them back to back front to front and shuffle them in a tray black as night. I watch as the images magically appear on the paper. I shuffle for about 2 minutes.

I rinse the paper in a running water wash, and then put the films in a weak sodium thiosulfate fixer that I mix fresh each time and wash them in running water for a few minutes. These paper negatives aren’t archival. They will eventually change tonality and the negatives will soon disappear. I’m ok with that because nothing really lasts forever.

The camera I use is a Sears Delmar plate camera, it’s a non-name camera might not even be a Delmar, it doesn’t really matter. In 1/4th second the mobile world loses its shape. The world becomes an aura of color, solid moving things reflecting light back to the lens. in 7 seconds there is no aura of light but what appears to be a solid mass of tonality, like headlight streaks at night. Solid enough to block your view or add to it. I use it on a tripod sometimes other times it is handheld.


I’ve been photographing the world that doesn’t move in those 7 seconds. It’s a mass of light and color, transformers and the natural world. It only takes 7 seconds to make an impression.

7 seconds