Claire Yaffa took her first photograph 45 years ago when her son was 18 months old and it was the beginning of her journey, first as a mother, then as a photographer. She has worked extensively for The New York Times and Associated Press. Her photographs have appeared in countless influential publications and have been exhibited at major venues in the US and around the world.

Leica Notebook, Chapter Six

I have returned to the darkroom, reminding myself of the chemicals to be prepared, diluted, stirred, measured and at the right temperature to develop film and make a print.
I pick up my digital camera and there waiting for me is the photograph I  have seen.  I carefully select what I want to photograph, whether I use my M6 loaded with film or my M9 digital camera.  One is instant gratification which can improve even more with the advantages of Photoshop. The camera with film  is a much  slower process. Holding my breath, I load film trying to avoid a catch in the spool, develop my film and wait to see if I have the photograph I hope for.  I have my negative, but not until I see the image developing in the tray, do I release my breath. It is then that I evaluate the possiblities of how to improve on the image I photographed, which will take place in the darkroom.

Which process represents the art in making of a photograph?  Is there a difference in the quality of a digital print and a print  from film?  The beauty of digital, is the ability of everyone to appreciate the making of a photograph.  One does not have to be a “professional” photographer to make an excellent photograph.  Everyone can take a photograph and they do!  However, for me, I value being exposed to both worlds, digital and film. Perhaps spending  memorable time in the darkroom, which I have done for 45 years, reminds me of the photographers whose work I have tried to emulate.  I still hold my breath whether I am photographing with a digital M9 LEICA or developing  my film from my  M6.  Does it matter if there is a difference which  camera one selects?  For me the “art of making a photograph” comes from the person behind the camera, representing  the heart and vision  of what they feel and want to say.

-Claire Yaffa

You can also see more of Claire’s work on her website,