Sep 29, 2011

Old School Photo Lab Analog Ambassador Contest

I love digital photography as much as the next 21st Centurian. But film will always hold a place in my heart.

I was a late bloomer with digital, hanging on to film longer than anyone I knew. I was afraid digital would take the essence out of photography. If anyone could shoot anything at any time with no concern for cost or waste of film, then what's the point? We'll all just be running around taking photographic inventory and not really creating moments.

OK, I know, sounds grim. I got over that, for the most part. But I do still believe that shooting film harkens back to a time (and not that long ago) when we had just a few more minutes to think about the shot. After all, you weren't going to see the result for at least a few days or longer so what's a few more seconds composing a moment and maybe even changing your mind before clicking the shutter?
I love details. While everyone else is grabbing the money shots of the Coliseum, I'm huddled in a corner snapping the detail work on a carved marble relief. At Dali's house in Cadaques, I was drawn to the single weed in front of the bold, blue door. Or this stark craving in a museum (this is the only shot I took before I was reminded by the guard that no photography was permitted).About ten years ago I discovered plastic cameras of all kinds. I had a few Holgas, a Classic Diana, a Lubitel, a camera that shot four frames on one exposure, a camera that made miniature Polaroids, and on and on. But after I went digital, I put those toys aside until just recently. I'm shooting with my old Holga (and a new 35mm version) and Diana again and loving it. I've dug out some old contact sheets for and yellowed issues of Shots magazine for inspiration. I'm all about the film these days.
I don't even mind waiting for the processing. It's like a little burst of Christmas when I get the email and the link to the latest photos that have been scanned and uploaded.

I'd love to be an Old School Photolab Analog Ambassador. I'd be the pied piper of film. I've already got two Holgas in my bag at all times. They are a great conversation starter when people see you pointing and clicking and, this always gets the younger ones, cranking that film advance wheel. It's all so obvious and noisy and I love it.
I'd encourage people to take a breath, pause, think, and look. Really look at what they are shooting. Wait for something that moves you, whatever it is. Leave the famous landmarks to the postcard industry. Look up close, down low, behind, around. Something is waiting for your film.

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