I have been taking pictures of wraith-like smoke in the fire, living and breathing behind the glass. Of Langhe dirt, covered in snow, that looks just like a mud cake with icing sugar dusted on top. Pictures of coppi – the beautiful terracotta roof tiles from the area, pictures of hazelnut tree shadows, trials in black and white.
I have resorted to using three cameras – a Yashica FX-3 super 35mm to play with some analogue photography, a Panasonic Lumix GF2 and my trusty iPhone 7 plus which is everything you have seen to date on Instagram and here. After the snow, I went out armed and dangerous with all three options. I now have too many photographs, but boy am I learning. I’m reading, too. Any DIY photography manual, online articles, tips on how to shoot in black and white. Beautiful, technical, fascinating stuff (that consequently reminds me of how hopeless I was at physics back in high school. But that’s another story).
As it turns out, I know nothing of film photography so the first two batches of film for our analogue photography adventure were possibly a waste, except for those pictures my partner took, and one very nice picture of the Christmas bunch of flowers I got at the Alba market, that I took. But I really have no intention of spending my life in still life, although I’m not yet ready for any object that actually moves. The cat is a challenge – she can be shot generally while sleeping. It’s about the only time she’s obliging.
So this is one of my (many) projects for 2019 – photography. As I set up my business, and try my hand at home-designed business cards, and this website, I have no idea whether photography will ever be an integral part of that. But really….what do I care? I am enjoying myself, I am learning. I may finish one of the millions of people creating visual pollution on Instagram, or I may leave, in some small way, a legacy in photos for those who come after me.
Which is what using the 35mm film is really all about. While technically it’s a huge challenge, it’s also an exercise in nostalgia. I can’t remember being that excited about photographs in a long time, as when we dropped off the film. The patience required as it gets developed, the expectation about the pictures we took, trying to remember what we did, hoping that the one picture we took ten minutes to compose turned out…. Was just glorious and exciting. We even got one of those little plastic-sleeved booklets to put the photographs in. I haven’t had one in years. It was like a second Christmas present.
So my cliché 2019 post on New Year’s resolutions is just one instead about exploring this brave new world, finding my creative feet. It’s true that in moments of depression or trauma, we create one kind of art, and in moments of happiness, we create another. I hope that photography will accompany me in many states of art and soul, and be a way to get closer to the creative world. A 2019 resolution to let the journey continue, in 35mm film, digital, black and white and colour, and lead where it takes me.