I'm taking a new and exciting step forward here at ELMK PHOTOGRAPHY. Let me introduce: FILM FRIDAYS!
A couple weeks ago my husband and I were laying around lamenting our unemployment, wallowing in self-pity, and all around complaining about our current state of self. It's been a strange year for both of us- we moved from the east coast to the west coast, my husband went back to school with a demanding 6-7 days/week curriculum, and we went from double income to single income. On top of that- I was in the throws of a quarter life crisis. They're worse then the mid-life kind.
So last week instead of rejoicing that we were both home, together, alone for a whole week, for the first time in about a year we felt in a funk. We were both so unsatisfied with the people we were- felt so unproductive- so behind- so not who we wanted to be as creative individuals- so stagnant. We needed SOMETHING, something to get our juices flowing again. Something to get us back on track. Something to help us have some FUN, and LEARN, and GROW.
I decided I needed a weekly activity. I needed something to challengeme, and prompt growth, and a sense of purpose. And right then ladies, and interwebs I screamed out to my husband- "Let's start FILM FRIDAY'S!!"
Every week participants must shoot at least 1 roll of film. It may be any film format, as long as it is not digital. Processed images are due every FRIDAY. Each FRIDAY the participant will post 1 - 3 picks from the roll.
To grow and become better image makers. To stop "spraying and praying." To stop "fixing it in post." To slow down and think before we click the shutter. To push ourselves to learn more and perfect our craft. To stop chimping
, and start feeling confident you nailed the shot.
I will be shooting on slide film the majority of my time. I have chosen to do this because slide film is less forgiving when you do not nail your exposure, and the goal should always be to nail your exposure.
This is in no way a criticism or bashing of digital, or anyone who looks at their LCD screen after a shot. I shoot digital, and I too check my LCD screen.
For me- this is about returning to the basics, in an effort to perfect the basics. I learned how to make a photograph on a fully manual Pentax P3, with a 50mm f/2 lens. I shot manual, and learned what an f-stop, and a shutter speed was and what it did because I had no other option. I moved myself to compose the shot, because I only had one lens, and it didn't zoom. If I didn't know those basics I couldn't use my camera, and my pictures would not turn out. For me- this is about returning to the place I began- bringing to it what I've learned since- and trying to reignite some passion and creativity while forcing myself to perfect and grow in my craft. For me, this is about training my eye. I plan to have my camera ready at all times- to always be looking for a frame. Sadly- when I picked up my Pentax P3 (which I still have) it was in need of repairs. I used this as a good excuse to buy a Nikon 35mm SLR so I could use my new Nikon lenses I have for my DSLR. I wanted a simple, manual camera without a lot of bells and whistles because that is what I wanted this project to be about- basics. I also wanted it to have a similar feel to my old Pentax when I held it and used it. I did my research then found a Nikon FE on ebay for a very affordable price, and am very happy with it so far. I've named her "Effie," and the noises she makes when I take a picture are beautiful.
I invite any and all people to join in this venture. For me, this holds a lot of personal meaning, but we also encourage you to do it too. Find your own motivation, and set your own goals. If you do decide to participate please comment or send me an email. I would like to hold each other accountable, as well as share the images we're all making.
So without further ado...MY FIRST SUBMISSION TO FILM FRIDAY:
CAMERA: NIKON FE
LENS: NIKON SERIES E 28MM F2
FILM: FUJI SENSIA 400
LAB: A & I Photographic
I decided to do some self portraits for my first roll. Yesterday was my 26th birthday, so it felt appropriate for so many reasons.
I edited the scans a little- mostly crushing the blacks a tad, and increasing contrast, clarity, and saturation. This is very interesting (to me at least) because as of late I have HATED photos with pumped contrast, crushed blacks, and high saturation. In fact- I've been doing the exact opposite of what I did to these two photos on a lot of my work from my DSLR. Saturation is just so different here on film- not as hurtful to the eyes.
I like the first image a lot- because of what the experience of taking the photo meant to me personally. I was alone, just exploring with my camera, having a very self-reflective birthday afternoon. I stumbled across this old "CALIFORNIAN" sign behind the fence in a park nearby, and I knew it was meant to be. That sight so simply summed up for me what this whole past year has been about. I moved from Philadelphia, PA to Los Angeles, CA, and have struggled to become a Californian- like there is a fence or wall I just cannot get past. I have struggled to accept that I live in California, may live here for a long time, and it has been very difficult to think of here as my home. I still have a hard time accepting myself as a "Californian." So, for me, this picture and that moment was the perfect birthday present.