Yes, a film post. Took the three rolls of black and white film to be processed, all different brands of 400 film, to see if I had a preference, hoping I like the cheapest one the best. Don’t have them back yet, not only does it cost twice as much per roll for b&w over color, ten dollars versus five, it takes at least a week longer to get them back than it does for color. When I dropped off the film I also purchased a roll of film to try, to the tune of 11.99. Are we seeing a trend here?
I loaded the new roll of Street Pan 400 into the OM-1, with the plan to go out driving in the countryside and shoot. I did that yesterday evening, shooting almost half the 36 exposure roll in the process, mostly rural ruin kind of stuff. I found myself being annoyed by having to deal with the light meter and the required shutter speed and aperture adjustments. Manual focus doesn’t bother me, in fact I prefer it, all the lenses I use on my digital cameras are manual focus.
It seems upon reflection, that I enjoy the idea of shooting film, but have become disenchanted with the actual process. I have become a spoiled digital photographer. And with the high cost of film these days, along with the cost of processing and the hassle of scanning images to digital form, film may not yet be dead for me, but it is certainly on life support.
I have been pondering this post since yesterday. I was going to be kind and understanding in my tone, but that has now shifted to old and cranky, so now you get the real deal on this end.
The “subscription list” on the zine went up to twenty four this issue. Nineteen were mailed at 2.00 each, and the other five hand delivered, one yet to be delivered due to that person being out of the country. The zines run about 3.00 each for a run of thirty copies from the printer. I enjoy sharing them with you people at my expense, but here’s the caveat.
I need and want some form of response, feedback, acknowledgment or whatever, whether it be via instagram, website, email or text message. If I don’t hear something in a reasonably timely fashion, I assume you either didn’t get it or you don’t give a shit about continuing to receive them, and based on that, you will get deleted from the mailing list. If it’s negative feedback, that’s at least something. Definitely don’t want to get anymore, very cool, let me know.
I deleted one person with the last mailing, and have targeted three more for the next issue unless they reach out in some form before then. It’s free people, at least say something!
I usually have no interest in posts about camera gear, yet here I am adding to the list of boring gear posts. I don’t really think it matters much what camera or lenses you use, as long as you create interesting work. There is some wonderful work being done with phones, but I need something with a viewfinder, so a camera with that option is a must for me.
I started out with an Olympus OM-1 back in the late seventies, and I still have one as my only film camera, but not my original OM-1. I have two Olympus Pen-f digital cameras. I have owned two fujifilm cameras in the X100 series. The most recent of those I sold in the last month to buy the second Pen-f. This camera was discontinued, and Olympus itself as a camera company, is rumored to be ceasing to exist, though they recently announced a new OM 1 digital camera. So now it is all Olympus all the time. The benefit of that is that the old Olympus film lenses will work on the digital cameras with the use of a converter.
I have acquired in the last three months, three “art lenses” that have been great fun to play with. The first one was a pinhole lens by LensBaby that has three different aperture settings. There were some images in zine 5 that I shot with that lens. Then I found a Holga lens for Olympus digital cameras, and then I found a really cheap Olympus fisheye lens.
With zine 6 at the printer, I’m trying to figure out what is next. I’m only about half way through my three roll film experiment/project, and am in no hurry with that one. What zine 7 will look like is completely up in the air right now, and that’s okay. Vision can be slow or fast, but either way, it usually happens.
I struggle with words and their use in this zine. And, yes, I see the irony of those “words” in the midst of writing and posting this today. I am generally not an enthusiastic blogger, which may be glaringly obvious to anyone checking in on this site. So the concept for the next zine issue, being about words and the context or lack there of, is an interesting one for me.
Part of the inspiration for this issue came from a local art exhibit where headlines and other newsprint from the New York Times were used to create haiku like layouts creating a totally different juxtaposition than originally intended.
I have a cache of photos that I thought I would be using in issue 6, but that all changed with this different concept and design. I will be starting from scratch this weekend seeking out a different set of images to go with these words.
No timetable yet for publication on this one, probably April some time.
There is a Buddhist thing saying if you meet the Buddha on the path, kill him, or something like that. All that says is that if you really want to figure something out that is meaningful to your journey/process, you’ve got to search inside yourself and figure it out from the inside out, not from the guidebooks of prior “experts”.
Lately I have been lopping off the heads of photography gurus I have been following, podcasts, youtube channels and websites alike. No need to name names, they know who they are. There are no experts, just opinions, and they are a dime a dozen, especially in the photography world. I will do what I do, unfettered, and free of the noise of mantras coming from the internet.
“Your real freedom is the freedom to create. Shape some clay, write some words, whistle something or whittle something, move around in a way that represents something within. Fashion a cooking vessel or a fishing vessel or a vessel of war. Communicate your ideas, state your mind, express your feelings, manifest your desires. You are a creative being and this world is a fully-stocked creative studio, so when you find your authentic calling, it will be a creative one.”
This may be a bit of a rambling stream of consciousness post, but that doesn’t matter. My number of subscribers to the zine has risen to almost twenty with the most recent issue. I feel like I may need to give people the chance to opt out when the next one happens, or maybe I just need to let that take care of itself? There is a guy in the UK who runs a small publishing operation who found me on Instagram. He likes my photography and requested a zine. I had enough back issues to send him the “boxed set”. He did a trilogy of books that he is sending me in return as a kind of barter thing. So I guess we could say that I have officially gone international.
I decided a few weeks ago to shoot some film and see where that goes. I am shooting three rolls, all different, except they all are the same 400 ASA. Kind of an experiment to see which film I like better, and then incorporate the images into the next zine, or maybe the one after that, depending on how long it takes to shoot the rolls, get them processed and then edited. Not in a rush, but have gotten to the second roll as of this morning.
Reading a book about the poet, Frank O’Hara. He is from the 1950s-60s, was part of the abstract expressionist art scene in NYC. I have also acquired two of his poetry books. They, and listening to Janis Ian’s new album, have inspired me to write more lately, my rough poetry/musings. Some will probably end up in the next zine, who knows.
Anyway, all for now. Thanks for checking in if you do, and also thanks for the interest in the zines.
I have recently been watching the limited series, station 11, it concludes this Thursday on HBO Max. It is a post-pandemic story, survivors making their way in the world after the collapse of modern civilization. As a side note, the series inspired me to read the book it is based on, and the book is somewhat different in the story arcs, but much better at conveying the nuances and emotions of the new normal, where devices and screens and world travel, and all the involvements of modern society have disappeared.
People scavenge for old newspapers and magazines and books, they do live theatre and live music. It makes me feel like my little zine is worthwhile for me and my little random audience. Something tangible in a world of screens that could disappear, where your online posts can be taken down, canceled, deleted, all on the whim of some random invisible entity.