August 12, 2011

photo assignment: document it with film

In my interview with Graciel Evenstar, she talked about how she turned to photography for creative meditation.  She said:

"In the late 1990's, when I had a 35mm film camera, I used it as a tool for calming myself and for artistic meditation. I would walk through the woods, stalk an abandoned horse farm and troll through country ditches taking photos of flowers and trees and unclaimed bridles. I would compose a little piece of art in the lens and snap away, all the while leaving the world to fend for itself. It was rejuvenating. But I never developed the pictures. Eventually, I threw 25 rolls of film away, knowing the effort had served its purpose to ground me."


Since reading that, I've paused many times wondering how I could implement that practice into my own creative routines.

I love working with film because it forces me to slow down and really pay attention.  You get what you get when that shutter clicks with no going back and no deleting - a moment captured forever.

Here's an idea for a long running assignment:  Look for your old film cameras, clean them up - give them a good once over, and buy yourself one roll of film.  If you don't own a film camera you could use one of those disposable 35mm they sell at almost any store.

Keep your camera in your bag for a day or a weekend and use it both to document your day and as a framing practice tool.  You might not fill up your roll of film in one day - and that's ok. I've had the same roll of film in my Agfa for over 2 years now with just 10 more frames to shoot.  And that's another thing that I love about working slowly with film -- I have no idea what I shot on that roll.  I'm sure to be pleasantly surprised when I pick up my developed prints.

It's up to you if you want to develop your roll or not.  If you do, I'd love it if you would add some shots to the flickr pool and tell me the story behind the shot.

Here is a fantastic photo from Kirsten from our last assignment: Capture Motion.

*All of the photo assignments are still open with no deadline to finish.  You can go back and access the assignments through the nav bar.

The newsletter goes out tomorrow!  Subscribe here.  I'll see you all on Sunday when next week's photo prompt goes up.  Happy Weekend!


deb did it said...

OK, so I bought a one-time-use camera, like a little plastic toy! I just shot my last frame....AND I WANNA VIEW! Weird to shoot without Zoom, viewing and delete! I am digitally spoiled! I shot random scenes from my drought stricken Texas sad, parched, dry, broken and brittle...but maybe the pics will be fun to share! Now I gotta go get developed!

juliana_baby said...

I love this idea, especially the slow approach to working with film. I'm in the middle of a huge transition, moving across the country with my kids and it will be a perfect meditative exercise.

Now to track down an old camera.....we'll be in an aging mining town for a couple of weeks so it should be pretty easy to find one.

Kirsten said...

Thank you for posting my photo!
I just got back from a month long vacation in France and Spain and I am currently working on some new photos for my Etsy shop.
I will be revamping my shop and adding new photos soon.

Please stop by and visit :)


deb did it said...