Monday, 13 December 2010

Day 349, on which John enters the world of black and white [13.12.10]

Dag tre hundrede niogfyrre. OK, big photography-based post today because I can't think of what else to talk about and it's late and I'm tired from copious amounts of maths homework (goddamn quadratic should learn to go solve themselves, and inequalities and stay unequal for all I care). So sorry in advance. A bad start to the week, that's for sure. It's just so annoyingly busy nowadays what with school and all. And, on top of that, we have an own-clothes day on thursday and I need to make two posters and find some way to dress up like that guy from Countdown. I've never watched the show, personally, so that's gonna be hard. David Dickinson or someone like that. Basically, big glasses, an old jacket and a combover. Shouldn't be too tough. But before Thursday? Sometimes I wonder if I purposefully make life hard for myself.

OK, black and white. Because I want to develop my own film, I've had to use black and white 35mm film, because developing colour film is way too complicated and way too [much more] expensive for me. So I'm using Ilford ASA400 film, black and white. And to tell you the truth I'd much rather be shooting on colour. I take photos a lot for the light that shines on the subject, a big part of which is the colour of the light. And I can't show that. So I'm restricted. I also can't show any early-morning or early-evening light, because that requires colour.

But in a way, restriction is a good thing. The whole reason I use a 50mm lens, without zoom, is to restrict myself. Is to reduce my photography back to the bare basics: not a fancy sensor touching up the image as it receives it and a 16x digital zoom lens and a whopping great LCD screen; just light, through the shortest lens possible, falling onto an emulsion where silver particles do their thing and create the rawest of images. Of course, if I wanted to take this further I'd buy a Diana or Holga, which is just a plastic case plus (plastic) lens plus film, but that's a bit too messy for me. I like the control I can achieve with my Canon A-1. Lots of dials and settings. But all analogue, no exposure compensation, red-eye removal or special lighting or experience settings. It was the first camera to feature a programme mode, so it's the very basics of camera do-it-for-you-ery. And I love it for that.

And now I have a black and white film in it. I think I got some good shots today, at school, but in a way I feel as if they'd be better in colour. Though it certainly is an experience to work with black and white film, because it means I had to think a lot more before I took the photo. And I took more photos of the same thing than I thought I would, because - when I'm developing it myself - I can choose which photos to print, so it's more cost-effective. And it also means that I have more chance of getting the shot I want if I took it twice or thrice (I refuse to say 'three times').

OK, enough discussion. I'll have a bunch of my latest photos up tomorrow; until then, this has been John, writing for JOHNSPACE. G'night.

~John

2 comments:

Leigh Systems said...
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Leigh Systems said...
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