The whole point of shooting film was to have fun; I never wanted it to be anything less. So every now and then, when I get asked how my film shooting is going, I get a little bit defensive. "I haven't been shooting as much because I've been so busy. Are you saying I'm not having fun with my photography??? WHO ARE YOU TO JUDGE WHAT I DO WITH MY FILM CAMERA!!!"
Ok, perhaps a teensy bit more than just "a little bit defensive."
The challenge is trying to figure out what to challenge myself with. I don't want to just shoot anything I see because I think that's not being artistic or creative, and with the cost of film - and the cost of developing film - I don't want to waste my photos. Shooting street photography is fun and all, but it's not really my bag. I like abstract things and surreal things. I see the work many of my friends are doing and don't want to imitate what they're already doing. What to do, what to do...
Over the remaining months of the winter leading into the spring, I carried my Canon AE-1 with me to any outing in the off chance I might actually shoot something. As Noe and I walked around Eastern Market, we decided to warm up with some coffee when I heard a voice coming from my right.
"Wow! Is that a FILM CAMERA?" I was guessing this was directed toward Noe and I, since I didn't see anyone else with one, though I didn't want my already-large ego to get any wise ideas like thinking this was immediately for me. So, I waited a second.
"I haven't seen a film camera in a long time! I've only got this Nikon D5100... what's that, a Canon?"
Alright, alright. This one's for me. I'll engage.
"Why, yes," I responded with hesitance, "a Canon AE-1. She's got a Pentax K1000. Just taking them for a spin around the neighborhood."
"That's great!" he exclaimed. "Mind if I take a photo with it?"
Now, I understand that earlier in this post, I talked about how infrequent I shot with my film camera. I also mentioned how expensive it is to purchase and develop film. So, you can imagine my reluctance in handing my camera over. The problem is, unfortunately, I'm an absolutely nice and charming guy. Thus, I handed my camera over, and the photo at the beginning of this post is his resulting image.
Naturally, I automatically hate it because, well, I'm one of the subjects in the photo, but I think it's hilariously telling of the situation. Noe, gazing upon me to make sure I'm ok and not steaming, and me, staring away from the camera so I don't glare at the guy angrily while thankful that the film I loaded was black and white film so that my red face that resulted from my annoyance with him wouldn't show.
The remaining photos on the roll were mine, and while they're not necessarily the most amazing photos ever to grace the planet, I still would like to share them for some sort of... accountability.
As you can see, it's quite a diverse assortment of photos. That's sort of the problem when you aimlessly shoot without a mission or goal or challenge. But with that last photo, I figured out how to do multiple exposures with my camera, and a trip to Philadelphia was coming up. Maybe that's a challenge I could seek out and explore some more...
Until next time,