These film photographs are hard won victories from my non digital photography days. A time of despairing struggle. Trying to understand the voodoo of F-stop and aperture. Recorded by piles of over or under exposed disasters. Took me years to realise the cause. Technical incompatibilities between my ancient Nikon’s “semi automatic” settings and its Sigma lens had sabotaged most of my shots.
The victim of this feud was any confidence I had in my photographic abilities. Salvation meant switching to full manual. Then taking more bad photographs from square one. It drilled into me the realisation that if you take enough bad photographs, a fraction will come out not so bad. At least not bad enough to throw away.
The learning was slow. It was a time when you had to wait days to see how a photo came out. 24 hour processing was never a part of my life. Polaroids were fad of my parent’s generation. Photos took a week or more to turn up. As envelopes of postcard size disappointments. Much later I got access to a dark room. And another round of perceptual realisations.
Aside from the coming closer to subconsciously understanding the technical stuff,
I began to notice “themes” that had crept into what I shot:
None (thankfully) have any claims to conceptual intentions. Other than obeying a wordless command in the head that said “photograph that or you will be miserable”.
Yet it’s been fun. Even almost close to an infrequent adventure. Nearly got arrested for ignorantly snapping away near high security zone. Had a exciting try at aerial photography from a helicopter over Colombo.
Now I snap photos of the offspring units with a portable computer occasionally used to make phone calls. So relatives abroad can “aney sweeeeeet” their antics. Occasionally I have time to notice a flower. Or the morning light through leaves.
My float down the photography river remains (as it always was) an interesting, fun destination-less journey. It placates a voracious nameless urge to create images from eating too much of my time. When I want to look at real photography I turn to the likes of Aamina Nizar and the offspring of the ante meridiem light.
What place does/did film photography have in your photographic history? The comment box awaits the story.
*The photos in this post were “digitised” with a phone. Not that the photos could get any crappier.