Category : Canon AE-1
I shoot a variety of formats — digital, Polaroid, 35mm, 120/Lomography, and iPhone. I love each of these formats for different reasons, and I appreciate that photography allows me to play in such different forms of the same craft. In shooting across these spectrums, I often think about if there is one format I like “best.” So, being wired the way I am as a researcher, I decided to do a little experiment and shoot the same scene with multiple formats. I thought this might help me really see some of the differences and similarities across instant film, 35mm film, and digital platforms.
I hope you click HERE to see the rest of my post over at Mortal Muses where I compare and contrast three different images of this colorful rocking horse. I’d love to hear your thoughts on which you like best!
Have you ever stopped to think about the ways you walk or drive around the town/city in which you live? Do you drive/walk the SAME route every time you go to work or to the coffee shop? Inspired by Lindsey’s Mortal Muse theme for this month, “around me,” I got out and about here in Lincoln, NE. I realized how easy it is to just go about my days, walking or driving the same routes, and not venturing out onto new paths or spaces in this small city. I felt grateful to have the nudge to see what’s around me (with my 35mm camera!) for either the first time or with fresh eyes.
Grilled cheese and tomato soup, a perennial lunch fave…
This weekend couldn’t come soon enough. Tony and I are headed back to our grad school haunts, Columbia, Missouri, to attend the True/False Film Festival. This weekend’s event marks the 10th anniversary of the documentary film festival that all started back in 2003 while we lived in Columbia to attend graduate school. We’ve attended every festival and this annual tradition is an important one for us. It allows us to visit a town we deeply love and miss, catch up with friends who still live in Columbia and with those who come back like us each year for T/F, and see amazing and thought-provoking films. And oh yeah, and eat lots of food from our favorite Columbia restaurants!
The weekend always feels a bit magical, like this illuminated tree that I photographed while attending the festival last year. It feels like a needed escape into a different world during the thick of winter. I’m realizing that my travel itch hasn’t been scratched in months and that this lack of trips to look forward to and take has been a big contributor to my funk and struggles during January and February. So, I’m grateful that this weekend of magic and escape is gearing up.
We are seeing 10 films, and I promise to share my thoughts on them when we return. Two films I’m most looking forward to seeing are Which Way Is the Front Line from Here? The Life and Time of Tim Hetherington and Cutie and the Boxer. We saw Restrepo at the festival a few years ago and it remains one of my favorite documentaries. Tim Hetherington was one of the brave filmmakers of Restrepo and was killed over a year ago by a mortar blast in Libya. I am expecting this new film about Hetherington to be as impactful as Restrepo. On the total opposite end of the spectrum, I’m hoping to feel uplifted and inspired by the love story and creativity of Cutie and the Boxer. And that’s just two of the ten that await me this weekend.
Given my affection for surprises and all things unexpected when it comes to shooting with film, you likely already know that I’d be into expired film. The unexpected surprises you discover when shooting with expired film is like a double bonus — first you have the surprise of using film and second you have the surprise of what the expired quality may have given you. I’m sharing more on expired film over at Mortal Muses today, and I’m giving away some expired film to one lucky reader. I hope you click here to check it out and enter for a chance to win some expired film to play with.
I’m over at Mortal Muses today talking about my love of 35mm film. I’ve been shooting with the workhorse that is the Canon AE-1 that I won (I won!) a year and a half ago from the talented Kim Miller. I love this camera and the way it has pushed my photography skills further in terms of shooting manually. I am also still playing with expired film and the fun, unexpected looks you achieve in shooting it.
What is the focus of our attention? Is it the foreground or the background? Or are all the layers of life merged into one and we can’t discern foreground from background?
As I was dutifully adding to my to-do list last week, I quickly found myself overwhelmed with the number of tasks on the list without lines through them. I also felt like I was swirling in fast-approaching deadlines. I remember thinking to myself, “how can it only be the third week of classes, yet I’m feeling like everything is due TOMORROW!?!?”
I am grateful that after only a few days of feeling this swirling and overwhelm, I was able to get a handle on my thoughts and feelings. I was able to “catch myself” and recognize that I was clearly operating from a place of merged foreground and background. Somehow, I lost sight of prioritizing and sorting out what currently lies in the foreground, needing my focus now, and what can stay in the background until its appropriate time comes. In glimpsing these merged layers and feeling the negative effects, I got the opportunity to refocus my attention. As I move through this week, and all the rest of those in this semester and beyond, I’m aiming to focus on the foreground and allow the background to stay where it belongs.
Where is your focus?
If you come to Life Refocused very often, or have seen my photography on Flickr or Instagram, you have likely noticed that portraits (of other people than myself!) aren’t frequently the focus of my lens. This is not because I don’t enjoy photographing people. It’s more a reflection of not having people readily available in my life to photograph. Living in a new community (yes, even after 5 years, it still feels new to me) with a small handful of local friends who DO NOT like to have their photo taken makes shooting portraits a bit difficult. Additionally, I only live with one other person…and let’s just say that Tony is mostly reluctant to have me take his photograph. He sometimes plays along (for which I’m grateful), but mainly, he’d prefer I turn my lens in other directions. So, I don’t often get the opportunity to work on my portrait photography. But while we were away on vacation in Colorado (have you read about the Best. Hike. Ever.?), our friends and I were enjoying the cool breeze coming across the expansive porch after a morning of hiking, and Tony was in a completely relaxed state. He was enjoying an adult beverage, had stolen my hat to jauntily wear upon his own head, and was simply in the downtime that summer and the mountains brings. So I grabbed my camera, and hearing no complaint, captured Tony in that easy moment. This is my new favorite portrait of him.
To me, this photograph really is Tony. There is something about his expression, the way he is wearing my hat, his reclined posture enjoying summer, all of it, that says “Tony.” If you know him, I hope you see what I see and know what I mean. And after all, isn’t that what a great portrait is all about? Really seeing someone, and capturing an essential part of who they are or what their story is. That’s what this photo of Tony does for me. And that makes me happy.
I just got my film photographs back that I shot in Colorado. This is the first roll of expired Agfa film that I’ve shot, so I was really excited to see what the color shifts and other unexpected goodies that come with shooting expired film might look like. While some of the photos are more washed-out color-wise than I’d typically like, I’m happy with many of the photos. Here are a few of my faves…
The sunrise from the Best.Hike.Ever.
More to come from this roll of film. Thanks to Old School Photo Lab for the awesome and fast processing!