Here we are. In the “rest” of our lives. Reflecting on first times, last times and hoping for next times.
In between the times, technology seemed to be both a welcomed foe and adversary in the growth, appreciation and (no pun intended) development of the art and craft of photography.
Shutterbugs come in many varieties and exists for a multitude of reasons and purposes. The casual hobbyist. The enthusiastic beginner. The seasoned veteran and all that glitters in between. If any of those mentioned have more than twenty years of experience with a camera, collectively, we have witnessed the transformation of the camera and transition of technology, rather we welcomes it or not.
Resistance is futile. I tried and failed. Yes, we all fail at something or another in life. It’s all part of the growing and learning process – like it or not.
I failed at my attempt to remain true and dedicated to film cameras. My twin babies. My beloved and cherished A2E’s and the joy of photography they had gave in return.
I failed my Twin AE1-Programs when I set them out to pasture after I adopted the A2e’s.
I even failed my Mamiya RB67 (which I recently had repaired and cleaned) and it’s three backs: Polaroid, 120 and 220 with waist level view finder and “eye” cup view finder and those adorable cousins 90mm and 180mm lenses. I failed them all when after twenty five years of trial and error, light meters and contact sheets, in 1996, I succumbed to the welcoming digital age and invested in twin Canon 30d’s and a plethora of accessories, as I did their predecessors.
And here we are. Together. In this place were we once actually dialed a phone, walked into a photo lab or rushed to a publisher to be first in line with that “hot” photograph – in a time replaced by point/shoot/send/like/delete That’s it. Our car engines have been relegated to search engines. And our need to stand in the center of a crowd to display our ages as they dance across our finger tips has been anti-socialized to strangers viewing and “liking” our work on the Internet and world wide (spider) web.
I am not regretful in any way, but now I am on a mission to reunite with my beloved medium that once garnished such positive reviews in print media publications and personal sales. I am on a mission to bring the value back to a medium that started it all: FILM.
I have had more of my images published from print than I have in digital. Why? Not because I haven’t tried, but because anyone with a (digital) camera these days are sometimes referred to as a “photographer” without the work ethic and journey through film and print photography. There are digital photography courses and workshops, I teach one as well. And I only refer to and challenge those old enough to have experienced and experimented with film cameras and I am in no way deducting that: Unless one has journeyed through the land of discarded film canisters, their point/shoot/send/like or delete options are being used in vain.
I was told to “keep my (print) errors and learn from them.” So, I did. I learned from my mistakes and failures. I also accepted change and the point/shoot/delete and send options. They got me. Made my eyes lazy. Not totally, but technically. I have welcomed new opportunities to learn and share.
I often challenge those who make claims without study and rarely am I challenged. I seek challenges and get a rush from debates. I am not a drama king, but a healthy and balanced debate is akin to a game of chess.
Yes, it’s their journey, but one wouldn’t sit in a room full of doctors and only quote what they have experienced through “Marcus Welby, MD” or “St. Elsewhere ” to make their claim in the medical profession without study nor practice, right?
So, I have taken a private oath to stop being lazy (complacent) and to rekindle my relationship with film and my beloved A2e’s and my Mamiya RB67 and have invited and challenged my students to do the same.
After all, some of them have made a name for themselves through – and only through digital photography. Maybe because they may not be old enough to have experienced the red glow of a dark room and the stench of processing chemicals.
Again, i say that I don’t shun anyone’s journey. I am doing well as convert from an analog photographer in a digital age. What about you?
What’s your story?
Let me touch your pictures.
I challenge you to shoot one roll a week for a year.
k/d/morris is a poet and photographer from Philadelphia who teaches both subjects. firstname.lastname@example.org