Film Photography

At the very beginning of this semester, I had no idea what the heck to do in a dark room and how to even begin film photography. I also didn't know that I would really like film photography! I had a lot of fun this unit with film photography and learning all of the processes and how to work in the dark room. I think that my pictures here represent what I've learned pretty well and how I've improved as a student with film photography too. My first image, which is the photogram of a little drawing figure holding a paintbrush, had some pretty big technical problems with how the chemicals came out on the paper and the composition of image. At the top left corner there is some wavy-like patterns that show how somewhere along the process, I definitely messed up with the chemicals and missed a section when developing the images.

Messing up on the first image was a little disconcerting, but I think when it came to film and actually getting a real picture onto a piece of paper, I was more determined to not mess up my image at all and really get it right. I think this is shown in how my picture is pretty even all across the surface, in terms of no markups or chemical mess ups. I really like this image because I like the cropping and composition that I used, and how it looks like the skeleton is staring out at an intruder or something. The next image is my leading lines image, and boy did I have quite the time with this project. I guess when I was taking the pictures for this project I was getting a little wild, because almost all of the pictures are some type of blurry, and did not show up focused at all when I tried to focus them under the enlarger. So, this project was a bit of a doozy, but even though it's a little grainy, I really like my final image because I like the leading line technique that I used. The fourth image is a picture that I took over winter break of some funky ice on Runaround Pond. I had so much fun with this particular project because I was really excited to take some independent pictures, and my dad and I went on quite the expedition to find this really cool hidden waterfall in Runaround Pond with some craaazzzy ice. I took a lot of pictures there, and almost all of them are technically illegal because we went off of the marked trail, so that's pretty cool. I also like this picture because I like how odd it is, like how I focused in on the ice, so it almost takes you a second to understand what the image is and get it. For my repetition images, the process was very much like my leading lines process. I think this image is the first almost perfectly clear image that I've gotten out of the dark room, so that's pretty cool! At this point in the semester, I was pretty confident with the dark room materials, so I think that's why I got the full value down, because I was more daring to expose my image for longer. My final image is my independent image, and what was cool about processing this picture was that I zoomed right through the process! It didn't take me very long because I was so accustomed to working in the darkroom and with film, and that was pretty rewarding all by itself. Also I really like this image personally because it evokes some Monday Night vibes from my soul.

I think the most challenging part of the whole process wasn't the actual dark room for me, but rather the process of taking film images. I guess I'm not super careful or still when I take my images, because a majority of my pictures were taken in-motion and came out quite blurry! So a big part of this semester for me was learning about the patience and careful attention you have to use when taking a picture, especially on an older camera with an older developing process that is a little more frustrating than just uploading a picture to your computer. But! I got through it and had a lot of fun the whole time and will definitely want to explore more with film photography in the future. I think this also illustrates my strengths and weaknesses at the same time. For example, my weakness is patience and really taking care to make/take a picture the best that it can be and the best to my ability, because I'm often focused on the next picture or the next assignment and don't take time to slow down and focus on the details/execution. However, I think my strength was that I was willing to keep trying at it until I got it right, because I really don't want to end a unit on a topic I love at a bad point. I really wanted to understand film taking and processing, because even though it was really frustrating, I think it was really intriguing, and I wanted to try this new (actually old), cool process! I am most proud of this too, because although they may be a little blurry and chemically messed up, I'm really proud of my images and how I overcame my impatience to make pictures that I liked and were definitely different/unique compared to the rest of the other art I've been doing my whole life. I'm especially happy and proud when I look at my skeleton and kayak images, just because I think those were two of the images where I really grabbed the concept of film and worked with it!