Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Never thought this would happen.

Here I have some musings, changes and a random assortment of photos that have nothing to do with this blog entry. Enjoy!

Me in front of the Mattel Toy Store in El Segundo.

After much consideration, confusion and uncertainty, it would appear that I've come to some semblance of a decision. Sort of. Maybe. I don't know quite how to say this, but I'm having a very strained relationship with photography lately. I'm sure it has been obvious based on the lack of real photos in my self-proclaimed "photo blog". I don't know what to say though. I'm feeling a disconnect. I love photography; I am appreciative of my education, knowledge and equipment. I still derive joy from the hobby and I love to document my friends and family. But. But...

This problem would be very easy to solve if I had the key to figuring out what went wrong in the first place. It was a gradual change inside of me. I began picking up the camera less and less. Fewer things were inspiring me. Whenever I did have the camera in my hands I would start to feel aimless. I wasn't approaching subjects with vigor and enthusiasm and would take very few shots. Andrew has been reminding me to bring the camera places, but I've been shrugging and saying no to the suggestion.

Christening my new ramen bowl! Andrew bought it for me :D

The feeling has been uncomfortable, unsettling. Photography is the longest lasting interest/hobby of my life. I went to school for it. I travelled around the world for it. And now I don't want it? Well, I wouldn't say that I don't want it. I do want it. But not in the way that I've always had it. I suppose that would be the key. I need a new approach, a different angle. Fortunately, I have options.

Andrew has a dabbling interest in shooting film. I happen to have experience in that from school, as well as multiple film cameras. I also have a back stash of expired 35mm film, and he likes to buy 120 film for my Holga.

The inside of the birthday card that I made for my nephew.

When he first expressed interest in shooting with the Holga I sighed exasperatedly to myself. That Holga has been the bane of my existence ever since my teacher gave it to me two years ago. He wanted me to branch away from the technical aspect of digital and focus simply on the art and composition aspect of a photo. I was not happy. I liked the technical; I loved everything I had learned and I was not willing to give up control to a plastic lens and spontaneous light leaks. He tried and tried to get me to see the value of letting go and seeing what happens, but I wasn't ready to do it. I think I am now. I think I finally see what he meant.

I know I've mentioned the camera store Samy's before. Andrew and I go there to look at camera equipment and compare prices. They have a large film section with a lot of products, including the items necessary to do an at-home lab. My eyes grew a little when I saw all of the chemicals and supplies. Analog processing and printing (although this place doesn't sell enlargers) was indescribably fulfilling and interesting. It stretched me and frustrated me, but the thrill of a print that I deemed perfect was simply delicious. To add the cherry on top, this place does processing; it would satisfy just about all of our film needs. The last piece of this puzzle would be a film scanner for us to use at home. We're currently keeping our eyes open for one.

The front of the card that I made for my nephew.

He and I have also discussed the option of creating a make-shift lab in the laundry room. It could definitely work. We'd only be able to do black and white, but that's not really a bad thing. I don't imagine we'll be doing that anytime soon, but it's something that we'd both like to have someday.

I've derailed myself a little bit. Allow me to get back to my point.

Andrew and I went out on Sunday and he told me to bring my Holga and my Nikor film camera. I snapped a few photos while we were out and noticed that the familiar feeling was creeping back. The good feeling. The love-of-photography feeling. It was then that I decided a switch to an emphasis on film photography was the right decision. I'm finally in that place where I understand the benefit to letting go of technical aspects and simply finding things to appreciate, regardless of the math/science/knowledge behind the shot. I suddenly want to focus on subject matter, feeling and abstraction. This has never happened before! It's a strange sensation. I feel good about it though. I feel positive about it.

It rained last week! Glorious, beautiful rain.

I don't know yet exactly what this means for my photo blog, but things will definitely continue so no worries there! I'm not going to stop digital photography altogether either. I'm considering doing digital photos one week and analog photos the next, just alternating. This depends on how much film I shoot (a lot I hope!) and of course how soon I can get my hands on a film scanner.

I believe that a large portion of my internal process to want to focus on film stems from a blog titled The Dainty Squid. She switches between digital and film, and posts such a wide variety of fun and interesting photos. I forget how much I love the aesthetic of film. She's wild and free, snapping photos that feel so moving and full to me. I want that. I want it back.

Andrew and I are now proud owners of a baby apple tree!

Her blog is also just generally enjoyable to read. I definitely recommend it! She has a bunch of cats, which is great. She loves mushroom hunting and posts the coolest pictures of all of the mushrooms that she finds in the woods. She also has a super funky and fun wardrobe and really likes to thrift shop. I'd like to go thrifting more often, and so would Andrew, but we only have a Salvation Army near us and it happens to be absurdly expensive. No good.

Perhaps sometime soon we can research better locations near the city and we can have ourselves a fun day trip? I'll run that idea by him and see what he thinks ;) Time to go take some photos!

-MJ

4 comments:

Jacki T. said...

I am so thrilled that you've sparked (resparked?) an interest in film!! I loved the photos you took home after experimenting in the lab at Evergreen. Have fun, friend!

MJ said...

I feel really good about it :) and Andrew is totally on board with film purchasing, which is great! He likes snapping some photos too. I'll be sure to use a bunch of film while you and James are here!

Chavid said...

Well I'm glad you seem to have found some sort of solution! Good luck and looking forward to more awesome pics!

MJ said...

Thanks Chavid! :D

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