Notes on Lee Miller / Megan Burbank
dancing girl press, 2013
Megan Burbank completed her MFA in creative writing at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2013. Her poetry, prose, and reporting have appeared in print and online at Bitch Media, elimae, Pank Magazine's "This Modern Writer" essay series, Two Serious Ladies, and The Stranger. She is one-half of the editorial team at Projecttile, a literary journal, and currently lives in Seattle, where she works in communications for a reproductive rights advocacy nonprofit.
36. Because I have a tendency to take photographs with windows in the corners, I have to learn how to dodge and burn earlier than the other students in my class. Left untouched, the image will fade into its white border. In the darkroom, I move two overlapping pieces of middle gray card back and forth above the contact paper like the wings of some giant moth. The grains in the image ignite, moving light to its right place. It isn’t easy, but this is how brightness is accentuated, darkness too. When I do this, I take a photograph and alter it so that it no longer matches its thumbnail twin on my contact sheet, the box I marked with an X in white pencil as worth the struggle of growth. This is how I heal my mistakes.