A Year of Film

So I guess now is as good of a time as ever to announce (officially) my first project for 2015. I have been hinting at it for a while, but now I am ready to talk about it.

We live in a very digital world, this is pretty clear to anyone who hasn't been living under a rock. The invention of digital photography has been a great one. It is easier than ever for anyone with access to anything from a consumer smartphone to a high end DSLR to take and share photographs with the world. When I got my first digital DSLR in college, it opened my eyes to a new world (or at least one that was cheaper and didn't require spending hours a week in a darkroom). I became comfortable. In a way I became complacent with my skills because I knew that I could shoot faster, trim down accidents, and still have deliverable photographs. It was too easy to just "spray and pray".

A few years ago I found and blogged pretty extensively about my experience with Caffenol developing. It was an experiment that resulted in some fun time figuring out how I could take film and produce images in my own bathroom. Some with great success, others not so much.

Good or bad, I had fun.

If you have been following some of my other blogs you may have noticed a lack of content and updates. I wrote an update earlier this year talking about how I feel, and how I have not had much drive to create. I hope to change that, and learn something in the process over the next year. 

A Year of Film:

The Challenge: Shoot and develop 52 rolls of film (or packs...I'll count instant film as well).
The Tools (and a not so brief history)I have a few options at my disposal.

(Not mine)

The first is a Minolta Maxxum 5000, my first 35mm camera I ever used. It was (if I remember right) originally my grandmother's, which became my mother's, and when I started college and needed one for class it became mine. This has been my workhorse 35mm for many years. Its not particularly a hard camera to use, and it has a manual mode, so naturally it served my needs. However I still find this camera a little "too easy" for all of what I want to accomplish (and I'm a little ashamed to say that I have never really experienced using a full manual camera before). However I have another option–

Until a few hours ago this bad boy belonged to my dad. Who knows when he bought it, when I asked about it all he could tell me was "I haven't used this since the late 90's, if you want it, Merry Christmas".

It came with just a few more pieces than what you see above

After I dusted it off I threw a new set of batteries into the meter, I loaded a fresh roll of generic drug store 400 ISO film into this beast and have shot a few frames over the last day.

I may or may not use those photos as a first entry into the project.

Finally we have a set of 2 Polaroid SX-70 instant cameras. With a little help from The Impossible Project I will count at least two of my "rolls" of film to be coming from one or both of these cameras. Although I'll try not to make it my primary option.

The Stock(s): 

Until this project I really have only had experience with a limited number of black and white stocks (Ilford 100 Delta for life!). But I hope to change this. As you can see above I just placed my first orders for some various film stocks. Hopefully it won't be too long into the new year before I am able to crack everything open and make something happen. I still need to order a Color C41 developing kit. But those still seem to be pretty easy to come by, so I'm not too worried. 

The Process: It's pretty obvious that I like to explain things in more detail than needed sometimes. But I will be sure to keep that up. I keep pretty copious lab notes on my process and hope that I can maybe pass some of that along. I will be posting those notes along with the results for the week. 

I haven't quite decided how this blog is going to work yet, but I have a feeling it'll go something like this: A brief (yeah right) paragraph about the week including any issues that may have come up. Images from the roll of film processed (probably both working and failed...or some anyway). And finally any "lab notes" that I have taken.

I have also created a gallery which I may or may not use to post my favorite images as they happen as well. But one step at a time, no need to put the cart before the horse.

The Goals (aka TL;DR):
1) Shoot more (Period. End of story).
2) Experiment with various film types by shooting 1 roll of various film each week.
3) Slow down and re-learn the basics of shooting photographs, and hope to learn something new.

4) Profit? Take over the world? Make a book? Who knows?

So without further ado, I welcome all of you into my journey. Hopefully you can be inspired and learn something too. See you all in 2015!


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