Film Photography

By | 2020-05-14T16:03:25+01:00 July 12th, 2018|Word Of Wai|0 Comments

So here I am with the first entry of my own blog on my own website. This is weird as I never thought I would do this due to lack of confidence being part of other blogs and getting some articles edited especially with bigger words than my vocabulary can handle but in saying that my writing has been greatly received and although certain phrases were replaced or omitted, my thoughts were very much in tact that many encouraged me to go alone. The original idea is to do a monthly entry but as I type this first one, it might work out as a fortnightly thing. We shall wait and see!

As I was about to finalise the website, things kept changing too. I revisited a lot of my film photography and at time of writing it has made me think to add a film portfolio section only…and this is the basis of my first entry.

From my first live music experience, my path began to steer away from working towards a career in theatre and more towards one in photography. From secondary school I went to college with only the knowledge of a point and shoot camera, then at college we had use of a Pentax K1000 with 50mm lens whenever we needed and ‘all you could eat’ 35mm black and white film. We had unlimited use of black and white darkrooms with chemicals provided. We just needed to buy our own paper. I loved going into that red room and the smell of the chemicals. I loved doing test strips and then making my final image and see it appear as the chemicals washed over the paper.

It was a calming feeling and even with the many mistakes I made, I just kept falling in love with the process of photography. It was also a sense of escapism. When writing essays became too much, I went to the darkroom. I wasn’t the most technical and to this day I am not the most technical photographer but what many noticed was my eye to make a photo – how to capture a moment and how to make it work within the frame. I never really thought about it too much. I was asked once, “what makes a good photo?” My answer was, “I actually don’t know. Once I see something that I like, I just like it. It’s something that stops me in my tracks and say, “I like that!” Simple as that.” I apologized that I didn’t have a fancy answer. I was asked this during my interview for university. The two lecturers looked at each other and said, “that is one of the best answers we’ve had.” They liked that I was honest and didn’t go out of my way to find a fancy answer that I was offered my place there and then but I also had to prove myself to the other course I was applying for my Joint Honours Degree.

When I am walking down the street or looking out of a car window, I am always seeing things. When I am at a live show, I am always looking how the artist is stood, playing or dancing and how the light falls on them. My eye connects with the finger and freezes the moment. On film, that moment is captured forever. You are also limited to the frames you have and it is costlier using film so you wait more patiently to capture that moment more than you do with digital.

At college and university I experimented more. I also became freer with the city at night as becoming a young adult I didn’t have a curfew and I was fending more for myself so I took that opportunity to explore. As I started earning a wage, I also decided to explore other countries. Digital was becoming more and more popular but I was not ready to convert and only invested in digital after my first backpacking trip as I realised that backpacking with a lot of roll of films and on a budget was not the best thing to do. I only really started shooting with digital in 2010. It is my main tool now with music photography being my main subject and many people feel the need for having things at a quicker pace but I still shoot film and more on a personal level it helps me, and I quote the film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off:

“Life moves pretty fast.

If you don’t stop and

look around once in a while

you could miss it”