Yesterday me an a couple friends got together for a couple beers and an evening stroll around Carrolton which is in Saginaw County Michigan. There were old schools, store fronts, grain elevators, trains, wheat grass in the sunset, concrete plants, all kinds of stuff to see. I wanted to shoot film mostly and leave the digital to my iPhone 5. This is what I packed to keep it light and easy. Not a whole lot of thought needed for any of these cameras which means your mind can focus more on composition.
John Deakin was a photographer for Vogue magazine back in the day. His work was largely forgotten and poorly handled. Much of it shows the ravages of time. He was very much about raw, truthful portraiture which of course put him at odds with the golden age of Hollywood glamour photography.
If you live anywhere near one of the Great Lakes and you shoot film, this is THE annual event to be at! Produced by Bill Schwab, it is truly phenomenal. It’s reasonable to expect around 100 attendees most of whom shoot and print film photography. There is also a high concentration of alt process photographers doing wet plate photography (there are also platinum/palladium printers, gum over bichromate, and others).
Shooting film is a beautiful thing. Luckily people have been doing it for a century so as a medium film has been adapted to all levels of skill, interest, devotion, and economic means. This rabbit hole is deep but the hurdles to getting started are low. All it *really* takes is a thrift store/garage sale/parents’ junk drawer camera, a roll of film, and a nearby Walmart. As cool as they are you don’t really *need* a Lomo camera. If you just want to stick your toe in the film water
Boxes stacked on boxes between full filing cabinets. Drool….
Bette Page negs alone are worth north of $700ea! As a b&w printer it’d be magical to just have access to that collection for a year or more. So much pinup and movie star fun could be had. I can’t imagine what the auction house valued that collection at. It bottles my mind.
I actually fielded this question a LOT (or a variation of it) in my Saginaw Art Museum exhibit earlier this year. I kept thinking “If this were 1985 everyone would know what a silver gelatin print was.” Anyways, here’s a short video giving a brief overview of the history and technique I use to create images: