Photography... film photography.
Updated: Jan 14, 2022
Dear numerous subscribers, perhaps one day I will look back at these posts and laugh. I know for many that timeline is much shorter than mine. However, until that day, here begins my writing career.
Today I write the sparknotes of my tale into film photography. A brief, brief memoir. I suppose this post will be more for those who want to look back at how I got into photography rather than people wondering right now. So as not to waste any time, there I was tied to a chair in a hut in a foreign city with a stern, evil man looking down at me interrogating me while the welfare of the world hung in the balance. And it was in that moment that I knew I needed to get out of that line of work and start anew. I put my behind in the past and started a lost art form (and increasingly popular millennial craze). Enter. Film photography.
One serious note. I think photography has empowered, provoked, awed, confused, and even brought us to tears. And truly it has infiltrated into our daily lives, emotions, thoughts, and actions. I think that points back to the power of images. A picture is worth a thousand words. How many times have we heard this? Not to be too abstract though, I simply wish to take a moment to acknowledge the common notion that no matter who I am or who you are, what my background is or what your background is, we all have had a picture that has moved us and that we hold dear.
Enough stream of consciousness though, here is my background in photography. When I was in grade school, my family had saved enough money to visit my aunt and uncle in Doncaster, England where they lived. Prior to this trip, my mother had brought my siblings and me to Best Buy to purchase items for the trip. I do remember my older brother had decided on the new iPod Nano (2nd generation). And while I was swayed toward getting one myself, I had my heart set on a camera. Of course, the camera was quite primitive and the photos taken were rather clumsy but honest. I later gave it to my cousin as a gift. Pictured below is a 4x6 photo from my digital camera of me trying to hold the castle up standing on the english coastline.
After college, I moved in with my younger brother in a small apartment in northern virginia. My brother, a cinematographer who worked at the Kennedy Center, and I decided one year we would embark on shooting 12 short films based on 12 emotions. And it was during this series that I found that I needed a hobby while my brother and I scouted locations, did shooting tests, etc. He had his video camera and I bought my first film camera, the Canon AE-1. After that you just have to take a shot in the dark at testing the camera to see if it works, testing out what aperture and shutter speed to shoot at. It's all been a learning experience henceforth. At the bottom are some shots from my first few roles. Good and bad.
I told you. Sparknotes. And this is the sparknotes of the sparknotes.
But there is one point about film photography that I wish to hit on. It forces one to slow down in life. Mainly for one reason: it's expensive. 24-36 exposures on a role for 35 mm, 8-15 for medium format film. Each roll of film costs money to purchase, develop, and scan. And in a world where a snap with your smartphone is quick and cheap, film seems quite unnecessary. But here's the catch of it all. You have to be careful and choose what you really want to take a picture of. You have to slow down and find the beauty of what's around you. And when you step back and have to choose what it is you'll snap a picture of, you want to make them count... They mean something to ya.
And I look forward to continuing to find the beauty in life all around me and capturing it on film.