“Downgrading” to analog

Truck Graceyard

So, if you’ve read my “about” page, you’ve seen that I am making a push to head back to the world of analog (film) photography.  I am going to try to explain now why I’m making the switch back.

I began my venture into photograph in the 8th grade, I was 12.  My parents had divorced when I was quite young, and only saw my dad on infrequent weekends, and holidays.  My father had been an on again, off again photographer for my whole life (and most of his), and I thought this would be a good way for us to bond over something we had in common.  I caught on quick and enjoyed photography immensely.  After high school ( and 2 more years of photography classes) my first “real job” was at a portrait studio/mini lab.  Unfortunately the studio folded, but my next several jobs were also photography related.  I made a go of being an assistant manager at a retail photography chain and failed miserably… I hate people… ok, that’s not totally true, but I sure wasn’t cut out for retail at that point in my life.  Along the way, I shot weddings on occasion, and other randomness, but got rather derailed when everyone made the switch from film to digital.  I was in no way able to afford the equipment that was of the same caliber as the film equipment I already owned.  I got out of photography at that point for a while.  I had already been working as a paramedic, and focused solely on that for a few years.

It became apparent to me, that I was not able to totally distance myself from photography (helps me to maintain my sanity!, and found some college classes, and groups to join so that I could rekindle the old flame… and  take the plunge into digital photography.  I love taking classes, and always have, but digital for me has never really felt good.  To me, it’s like a beautiful sweater that’s ridiculously scratchy.  You wear if for a while and try to figure out ways to make it work, but in the end, you just give up and it gets relegated to the bottom of the drawer.  I’m just not in to digital, it just doesn’t feel right to me.  It is only recently that I have come to this realization after noticing that I kept trying to  do more and more to make my images look more like film images… (smacks forehead).  So, for now, I am throwing myself back into the analog world!  I am taking a wet plate collodian class at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond.  I am totally psyched!  I can’t think of a better way to immerse yourself in analog photography than to learn how to make your own glass plate negatives!  First class was yesterday, and we went over the basics – glass cutting and prep, mixing chemicals, exposure (sort of), varnishing, etc.  While it was very informative, and had me making a very long list of things i need to buy, I can’t wait till Friday which is when we’ll actually be shooting and processing all day! :::squeee!:::  I can’t wait!  I’ll post pics as soon as I can!

Above is a photo I shot a few years ago with a Holga which is essentially a toy camera with a plastic lens that takes 120mm film.  The film was commercially developed and scanned to disc and a few adjustments were made in photoshop.

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