Monday, July 22, 2019

That time I fell out of love with photography

I've been telling myself almost weekly that I need to get back to blogging.  Years ago in my "day job" career, blogging was a very useful tool to network with others and share information.  But as time went on, my blog started to fade as Twitter and Facebook took off.  So, my apologies for not posting any new content as of late.  This post should make up for that.

So why the title, "That time I fell out of love with photography"? 

Simple.  Because I did.  

Well, maybe not completely, but I did get to a point where I found it hard to create.  All creators go through it from time to time, I'm sure.  But I hit that wall.  It got to the point where I didn't even want to pick up the camera.  But them something changed.  I picked up a camera, but it was a film camera.
My walk through the world of photography started 35 or so years ago after I moved with my parents from Detroit to a town called Hudson in Ohio.  One of the classes the school offered was black and white photography.  I learned how to take pictures, develop the negatives and created pictures with an enlarger; you know, the "old school" method.  Well, as I've written about elsewhere, with those skills, I wanted to become the next Ansel Adams.  But the lesson learned then was that the world already had one and I wasn't that good.  So, I put the film away and then some years later I picked up digital and I hadn't looked back.  That was until recently.  Over the past several years every now and again I would order some black and white film from the internet and ship it off to have it developed.  The results were fantastic.  With all the recent advances in technology with digital imaging, there's one thing I found that digital can't do.  Digital images look beautiful but sometimes are without a soul.  Film somehow has a way of showing that soul more clearly than digital ever can.  So in the summer of 2018, I bought a medium format film camera, a Mamiya m645.  It's the type of camera I always dreamed of when I was younger, but they were thousands of dollars back then.  But luckily for me I only spent $125 on a used body and a lens.  I of course bought a couple rolls of film and instantly I was transported back to the late 1980.  When you shoot film, it's the great unknown.  Did I hit the exposure correctly?  Is it in focus?  Lot's of "if's".  And of course, having the wait for the film to be developed at the lab and the digital scans to post online always seemed like forever.  When I saw the results, that old feeling and love for creating started coming back quickly.

Since those first couple of rolls I shot and sent out for development, I went ahead and bought a developing tank, chemistry, and a quality Epson scanner.  I'm now once again doing something I did many years ago in my parents basement in my own home.  And the results have been fantastic.  I'll go out and shoot some film, come home, load it into the tank and develop it in my kitchen sink.  When it's done, I hang it up to dry and then scan the images into my computer rather than use an enlarger and make prints.  Actually, since I started doing this technique again I have been very successful at some recent art shows with people wanting these images over the digital color ones.

So the moral of this story for another create who feels that they've hit a wall, keep going.  But, find another way to channel your creative juices.  You may just find it's the kick you need to get your mojo back.