Something’s happened to me over the past year. Something puzzling and slightly troubling to my creative side. Outside of my professional work, I have thousands of images patiently waiting in my Lightroom Catalog to be discovered, patiently waiting for a personal caress from me to make it off of my hard drive and into the world. Although I have a deep love for these recorded moments, I’ve found the motivation to give them the attention they deserve lacking.
In the meantime, I’ve been slowly racking up rolls of film too. Just like the neglected digital files, these little spools have been collecting dust in my office also waiting for development. In all honesty, they have felt more like another obligation to complete in a pile of unfinished projects. (It should come as no surprise that I chose the word complete as my theme for this year. Perhaps you can relate!) With the conclusion of my second disposable camera for The Indisposable Concept, not to mention a looming blog post on the subject of film, some action was finally in order. I took the train downtown to center city, dropped my film off at Philadelphia Photographics and picked it up earlier this week.
It was almost a year ago that I gathered my various SLR cameras to dabble again in 35mm film. You might recall that I was rather dubious about the whole thing, the resurgence of film and the reasons behind it. That was then. But on Monday I picked up my film, six glorious rolls shot over the course of almost a year alive with amazing memories hidden to me these past 11 months, and I am totally smitten.
This is now.
Death Valley with Debra and our time in Palm Springs for Oasis.
Christmas decorations gracing our lilac bush in winter.
Coffee, cake and Polaroids while meeting my dear photo-friend Heather.
Hilary’s fledgling garden from our visit to San Francisco, and the delicious flight of wine over lunch in Sonoma with muse-alumni Kim.
Tender moments spent with my parent’s cat Grace on her last day with us.
And Negril, beautiful, relaxing, soothing images from Jamaica and the zinnias that awaited me in bloom upon our return.
So maybe it snuck up on me when I wasn’t looking. Maybe it was the time in between shooting these rolls of film that I needed. And maybe it’s that many of the images I’ve been collecting over the past several months just have that filmy feel, but I discovered something while sitting in my car on 13th street after picking up those rolls of film. I found out that once again I appreciate grain, that I revel in fixed colors that can’t be changed, that I appreciate just a few precious frames devoted to one moment instead of dozens that can be deleted. With the city traffic whizzing by and the air conditioning pumping, I learned on a hot summer’s day in 2013 that once again, I am smitten. Once again, I am smitten with film. Later the next day I found myself digging into my Lightroom catalog to edit a few of those long-neglected digital files and wondered to myself, “How many of these will look like film too?”
How about you? Have any of your own film revelations lately? Share with us in comments.
Holly ~ Soupatraveler
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A few months ago we featured The Indisposible Concept here on Mortal Muses. The premise behind the concept is that you get “one roll of film, one week, 24 moments” to share your world. Each submission is featured on their blog. I just completed two disposable cameras for the project that I’ll be sending over in the next few days. Muses Jenny Graver, Vanessa Snow (you might remember her post about it) and Vanessa Simpson have all participated. In a few months I’ll be writing a follow-up to our challenge to get you involved with your own submission to the project. If you’d like to have your indisposable submission featured on Mortal Muses, get shooting and be sure to send us a note with your submission link.
I realized that I like to reserve my rolls of film for special occassions. I don’t shoot my 365 with it, I only carrz it around when travelling…and even then I spare it for the very special oaccasions. It’s like a little treasure that has to be treated well. 🙂
That makes perfect sense Caro! I’ve been doing pretty much the same. It almost makes it more precious.
Beautiful shots Holly. I am so glad you gave them the time you needed to be able to fully appreciate their beauty.
I always say film is my favourite medium, and it is yet I haven’t used up the roll that is in my SLR let alone have any awaiting development for some time. Your post has given me the urge I need to get back to it again. Thank you.
Thank you Lynn, I hope you find some gems on that roll when you get it devoloped!
holly these are so beautiful. and what you said about a few frames vs. dozens of digital files really hit home to me. i have an SLR that is suddenly calling to me now…thank you for the inspiration. 🙂
Yes! I find when I have to think harder, think longer about my shot, I take a whole lot less! Happy snapping!
So glad to see you’ve caugth the film virus, Holly! These images are such a gorgeous summary of your year.
gorgeous holly. glad you are moving forward!
Yes! You seem squarely under the spell of film’s alchemy. Welcome to the club! Holly, each of these frames feels like a precious gift.
Can not wait to see more!
Thanks Debbie! I’m looking forward to capturing more beauty on film.
Such beautiful shots Holly! I’m starting to feel the need to try out film 🙂
Thanks Leigh…go for it!
oh my Goodness….Holy Hush.
Now I am smitten….wanting to touch the paper images. I remember my years before digital, sitting in the parking lot, after picking up prints, and smiling at my captures memories on paper. Oh. My.
Thank you Holly for reigniting these sweet precious memories for me here today.
I remember that too Deb! I miss the paper that’s for sure, but am just loving this look!
there’s something magic about looking through those prints the first time…the same as waiting for a polaroid to develop…it’s like christmas, waiting to unwrap the present.
your shots are lovely and carry such warmth…
It does feel that way Michelle! So true! Thank you for your kind words about my pictures too!
Holly ~ your images are wonderful in their artistic designs and painterly feel! As far as film goes, I’ve been enjoying my Spectra and Impossible film – in fact, some of my images will be part of the Impossible Project’s Analog Travelog series in the near future 🙂
I find that I like making images with different cameras. It’s all fun and exciting. It doesn’t matter wether it is film or digital to me, as it’s all about the image, experience, and memory. I’d liken using different cameras (film and digital) to the friends I have with very different personalities….I love them all for who they are!
thank you Anna! and congrats! I’ll be looking forward to your post on Impossible’s blog! yay! I think you’re right, it’s so much fun to see a “scene” through many different “eyes”!
Yes. More please. x
coming right up! 😉
Love. Love. Love. What film did you use for all these, Holly? If you remember….
Thanks meghan! Most of these are shot using Kodak CG 400 that I bought at the CVS by Tara’s house before Debra and I left on our road trip. The shot from Jamaica was an 8-year old disposable camera that was 400 speed film, but I can’t figure out the manufacturer from the negatives.
Such beautiful images, that feel and your words of the fact that they can’t be changed is what draws me to film…they are it and its just magical when you can be one with the film and camera medium you choose to understand…to capture magic…
You, Holly, have pulled me back to where the love began. Thank you.
Thanks Melody! I’m so glad!
Holly these are incredible photos. I have a roll not quite finished Ive been shooting over the last several months. Time to finish it and get developed. You have reminded me of that great feeling when you first see those magic moments on film!
Thanks Veronica! Looking forward to seeing what you had on that roll!
I have been thinking about trying out some film for a while now. I have been looking at all the beautiful work on this site and wanting to get the same effect. Your post has really inspired me. The images just have that je ne sais quoi that only film can provide. Love them all.
Thank you Sherry! I hope you give it a try. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!
I still haven’t given into film’s spell myself, although I admire that rich creamy depth that digital somehow lacks. My hubby is thoroughly smitten though. Love the look back at our wine flight… Let’s do that again soon, yes??
What wonderful photos, I´m so inspired and hope I can take such photos some day. Wish so much I could win a place in your picture everyday class. (sadly money is barely this time) <3
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