Art In The Process (my process)

Some people don’t realize how I long to be able to offer the option of shooting on film and only film (I admit, I prefer to shoot on film!). It took me many years before I switched over to a DSLR. Why? Well, because I was stubborn, but also it felt too hard to let go of film. The “look” of photographs taken on film is just different to my eyes, they speak in richer tones and colors, and when I am shooting (with my film camera’s) I notice/see more depth of field through the camera lenses (maybe because the quality of the lenses is so good!). Film, in all processes and steps of working with it, for me, eludes a deeper beauty and deeper emotion. But, that’s just me.

As an art student I studied the history of photography, as well as immersing myself in/within the whole “process” of photography, specifically black and white photography. You know what happened? I fell in love with it! It became my passion, my greatest love, and my deepest desire to create beautiful images was born. Now, I don’t know if you have had the opportunity to study the “masters” of photography and how and where it all began…and continued to grow into an art form unto its own, but, in my humble opinion, unless you have had the experience to load (a camera) and shoot on 35mm film, 120 medium format (or even perhaps Glass Plate Negatives, Ferrrotypes and even Albumen photographic prints) load them onto processing reels, processed the film, dried the film, cut the film, make contact sheets, made enlargements, and then developed an image using photo chemistry…then you can’t know just how important this process of creating truly is. It is an art form (an important one at that!) unto itself, and sadly it is being lost, and I don’t want to let go, it’s very very hard for me to let it all go.
Photography has always had a vital part to play in my life. I remember fondly my dad behind the camera (35mm), carefully observing the world through a variety of lenses (the very same lenses I still use).

To observe the world with a film camera is so very different, different because – there is an awareness, an awareness that you have this 1 roll of film (at a time), that only allows you 36 or 12 images (chances) to capture something beautiful. This automatically forces the photographer/artist to slow down and observe, really truly, observe (I stress, this is my opinion) in a way that looks and feels so different than the way of observing with DSLR in hand. For me, when I shoot with film…there is an unspoken magic when I observing the world/people around me. At times it literally feels as though I step outside of my body, and someone else is taking the pictures.
It is a very different feeling for me when I shoot with a DSLR, not that I don’t enjoy it or feel as though I am making artful images, or that I am not still capturing moments that “speak”, it’s just different.
Ok, now that I have spilled my heart about film, perhaps you might wish me to capture you in both “lights”, of film and digital.

Which, reminds me of something else…the “magic hour”. You know, that time of the afternoon when the sun begins it’s slow (or seemingly fast, depending on the time of year) decent in the sky, well there is a really beautiful/magical light that happens, and can be captured oh SO truly with the “right” camera and the “right” film. Perhaps you might wish for a “Magic Hour Session”, OK, I can do that! Get in touch and we’ll make that happen. =)

“I speak to film and it whispers back in beautiful, rich tones of black and white…subtle shades of gray, lights and darks, of truer hues and contrasts of life.”
– Erin Long


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