As I printed through the night my mind kept wandering back to the camera and the large 35x35 or 24x35 ambrotypes/tintypes I could make with it. The project "Oh Canada" came to mind again. A journey through out the country making wet plate and film images with 5x7, 8x10, 11x14, 16x20 and 35x35 cameras.
I could shoot both portraits and landscapes of the country, tell the story of the hidden Canada. It would be a grand project, the last major one of my lifetime. I can see the beauty and numbers of images in my minds eye. The pictures flow and stay with me, illuminating and exciting my thoughts. I could shoot it for 10 year or so from ages 60-70, 3 to 6 months a year traveling and making the pictures. My set up would include all the gear, a cube van darkroom and a camping trailer to live in. My father was able to move fridges up stairs at 72 years of age, if I have inherited his, hard work, strength and perseverance I should be able to handle the large camera (70+lbs) until 70 (mostly a road side camera).
I could see a project like this eventually been shown in its entirety in major Canadian museums, Art Gallery of Alberta, Vancouver Art Gallery. It could even make it to the National Gallery of Canada. Grant funding to produce the later years, after I have a body of work to show the juries, could also be possible. There would be a good chance the imagery would be collected and live on past my lifetime, telling their stories to future generations. Would not that be the ideal?! Having work that lives on and continues to excite, inspire and educate long after your nothing but ashes! Doing something important like this would make life worth living. Heck you might even live longer just to complete it. A true purpose and mission in life. I would stay in better physical and mental health for a longer period of time until this work was done. Then when the project is completed you quickly die off :).
Pretty grand and crazy plans, I know, but dreams are what make life worth living. I might never achieve any of these things but if I do not at least first dream them they are dead before they start. First you have the idea then you take a leap and see where that leads. In this case the first leap would be buying the 35x35 camera. I prefer to live with hope and dreams. So many people I know especially in the photo world (mostly club folk) give up without a fight. I would rather attempt and then fail, than to not try. Failure is so much easier to live with than regret.
Here is the SMALLER 20x24 camera made by HF. My camera would be 15 and 11 inches larger.
Note* Even thou these plans are grand and probably too far reaching I still want to do other types of pictures. I would also continue my travels to Asia and those photo projects during the same "Oh Canada" years.