Before this trip, I had never been out of the country. I have been itching to take a trip outside the United States since I was a child. My husband and I traveled, by ship, to Mexico, Belize and Honduras. I usually take my DSLR when I go shooting, but I decided to shoot with ONLY film on this trip. I have a bit of an obsession with shooting film and this trip allowed me to bask in that obsession. We stopped in Mexico first, Belize the next day and Honduras last (but certainly not least). I am fascinated by other countries and cultures, and I am always eager to learn more about what makes a country unique and alluring. I am fascinated by the brilliant street photography work of artist Vivian Maier. Through my studies of her life and work, I have adopted a great love for the art of street photography. I took the opportunity to act on my fascination with street photography while on this trip. I shot many photographs of the people, the architecture and the sights that greatly differ from those in rural Oklahoma, where I grew up. Now that I finally have a passport, this certainly won’t be my last trip outside the country. All photos were shot on my Canon 35mm using Kodak Ektar 100 film. This was my first time using Ektar. Overall, I loved the outcome of these shots. Ektar struggled a bit when it came to skin tones, but the beautiful colors present throughout these three countries showed up beautifully with this film stock, especially the reds and blues.
‘Rediscovery’ is a project I started a few years ago. In this project, I went back to shooting with only disposable cameras. I did this in order to rediscover the liberating journey of shooting just for the heck of it, much like I did as a child. I easily remember the white-haired, freckled-faced kid I used to be, who just received a two pack of ‘Jazz’ disposable cameras. I am inspired by her. I want to shoot the way she did. Yes, of course, my technical ability has greatly improved since childhood, but I am inspired nonetheless.
‘Rediscovery’ has evolved in the last two years. Not only am I shooting with disposables, but I am shooting with many other working film cameras I own. Lately I have been shooting with a 35mm Canon that belonged to my parents many years ago. I also shoot with a Polaroid Land Camera from the early 1960s, and other various instant film cameras in my collection. This ongoing project has helped me slow down and enjoy my present surroundings, which has helped calm my anxieties as well (talk about killing two birds with one stone). It has possessed me to pull my car over in rural Oklahoma, and shoot the morning fog as it passes through the branches of a large tree, much like a ghost flying presently through the crisp fall morning air. It has caused me to fearlessly shoot photographs of people walking the urban streets of New York City, a place that is unfamiliar territory for my rural-born and raised spirit. In doing this, I found myself less distracted with my digital devices, and I fell back in love with shooting photographs. The burn-out feeling that stemmed from constantly uploading RAW files and spending hours editing several digital photographs in Photoshop and Lightroom (to portray the appearance of film), is fading. The constant urge to grab my smart phone in a desperate attempt to cure FOMO is subsiding. I encourage many of you, especially photography lovers and enthusiasts that are feeling distracted by the digital age, to pick up a disposable camera (or any film camera for that matter) and shoot with it. See if it helps you like it has helped me.
What are some of my favorite aspects of shooting film? Well I’m so glad you asked!