Washington, DC – February 2013

Taken at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC on a very cold and blustery day in early February, 2013.

Using film to shoot long-term projects works well, often. Having a thematic approach allows you to condense your vision down to what you’re really looking for. It allows you to craft a larger visual narrative, while simultaneously avoiding the pitfalls of the single-image approach to photography that digital often lends itself to. By that I mean only this: when seeing your images immediately, you can find yourself getting lost in each one, or having a certain image change the way your project moves forward. You might unconsciously not take a certain shot, since you already have that one in the bag, or something else. Not having the immediate review means that you have to wait for it. For me, that works. I appreciate that.

The times that I find myself frustrated with film (to the extent that I get frustrated with it at all, since it’s hard to fault film for anything, as in 2013, using film, with all its deficiencies and/or limitations is a conscious choice; if I didn’t want to use film, I could simply choose digital. In fact, I’ve argued in the past that we are the point now where “photography” is simply digital photography, and any other type of photography–like film–needs to have a modifier and be called “film photography”. But, I digress…) are when I’m not necessarily shooting a narrative. Actually, now that I think about it, the only times I ever find myself frustrated with film is when time is of great importance. This means if I’m doing any kind of work and I need to get a certain result in a short amount of time (weddings, sports, events, etc) or when I’m traveling.

Now, I have traveled quite a bit with film and this isn’t a post about my frustrations with film–I started this all by looking at the above photograph. This image isn’t amazing by any means. But, I think it’s an adequate shot. It’s the kind of shot you’d have a hard time faulting a first-year photo student for.

(Leading lines? Check.¬†Good range of tones? Check.¬†Avoided blown-out highlights and crushed blacks? Check.¬†Got a person in the shot? Check.¬†Rule of thirds? Just about.¬†It’s just…not great. It ticks the boxes but doesn’t do so spectacularly at all. Again, I digress.)

Back to the image: the point was that I haven’t seen this frame since I exposed it six months ago. Since this wasn’t part of a project, I’m not sure what to do with it now. How do I file it? How do I share it? The photos from my time out east are hard to know what to do with. Why did I take some of these shots? They seem to lack organization in my head, and I don’t entirely know how to get it.

So, I’ll keep looking through and post more when I have time, and when I have some way to display them better.



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