Time really gets away from me in the summer, as evidenced by the lack of posting here. About anything. Well, now that fall is coming on strong I hope to have more things to say about what I see.
Speaking of time, isn’t it interesting in this time of instant digital imaging, when the slightest action by anyone with a smartphone is broadcast to the world, there’s still a great interest in old photos. I found a website (the URL which I’ve unfortunately forgotten) the other day that is run by someone who buys old negative and photos at garage sales and antique barns, and then posts them online hoping someone will see and recognize the subjects. Generally these images made using film and photo paper, and many of them are square, indicating the use of a medium format camera of some sort. Most likely the twin-lens reflex type – you know, ones you hold at waist level and look down into the viewfinder on top. I’m guessing just about every middle class family after WWII had something like this to replace that Kodak Brownie everyone seemed to use.
The images are usually pretty interesting. Something about the 12-image-limit of the 120 film roll imposed a form of discipline on the photographer. Subjects were intentional, even when not formally posed. Scenes were important reminders of events or locations. Time was taken to make the image because the composition was important to the photographer, and usually other people as well.
These images have character to them beyond the composition. Different tones, borders, fine details, even noise from the film chosen gave them a unique look, something we may have lost in the digital age.
Sure, it’s a film image, but the digital capability means I can make it whatever I want beyond simply a photograph. We can re-create memories, emotional content, or just vintage appearances.
Personally I think it was easy because with the film I was 90% there….