Going Analogue

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Something has really happened to my photography since I got my Polaroid camera. Shooting with instant film has made me look at the world differently. I am much more aware of composition and of light; how strong it is, the direction it’s coming from, the shadows it leaves behind. It has made me see things that I would normally have overlooked or would have seen as too ordinary to photograph. And it has made me want to learn the old school art of taking photographs with analogue film cameras.

I am no stranger to analogue photography. My first experiences with photography as a child, was using the cheap disposable colour cameras that I took with me on summer camps. So when I discovered one day that Black & White disposable cameras existed and that you could buy them in Boots for £8.99, I really liked the idea of going back to basics. As much as I love colour, something happens to a photograph when you take it away.

So since May I have been walking around with this cheap, lightweight and simple camera, carrying it around in my bag everywhere I have gone until I shot the last film on the roll on my trip to London.

 

At first it felt slightly unfamiliar to just click the button and not be able to see the results straight away but as I discovered the other day, there is something really special about slowing a process down and having to wait before you can see the results. As I came home from work to find that the film roll I had sent off to be developed and printed by the photo lab had come back, I experienced something truly magical, as I sat down and unwrapped my first ever Black & White prints.

I saw the photographs I had taken months ago for the very first time. Every moment I had captured took me back to the memory of it, in a way I have not ever experienced my digital photos do. Most of the photos I had forgotten I had taken in the first place.

Sometimes light had leaked into the cheap disposable lens, making one side of the photo cloudy. Sometimes my shots were too dark and underexposed because I took them inside and didn’t want to use flash. This would not have happened with a digital camera but as I held the prints in my hands and looked through them, I loved every single one anyway. For these prints are not about perfection. Instead they have captured all the moments that make out my life.

 

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My cat Disa lying on the sofa in my bedroom at home. The photo is too dark but I still love the picture because of her calm, noble expression.

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The station at home, turned into an unfamiliar place from its normal, dull appearance because of the play between the strong summer light and the shadows.

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Waiting by the gate in Copenhagen for my flight back to England. I had already sat myself down on one of the seats, when I realised that everything in the gate was already black and white and it got reflected in the shiny floor, so I got up and took a picture and ignored all the people that looked at me oddly for standing there with a disposable camera.

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Going with Daniel and his family to walk the dogs and see a ruined church while we were visiting them.

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I have three different photographs of these buildings, because each camera has a different lens and a different angle, so they have brought out different aspects of the building. In this one they look very imposing, in the Polaroid one it looks almost like a 19th century photo and in the digital one it has brought out the texture and shadows of the nest-like building in the back.

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The sunlight falling through the leaves on the staircase on my way home from work one day.

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The medieval streets of Rye that me and Daniel explored with our cameras one afternoon.

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Self portrait of the photographer. It’s a bit too dark and there is a lot of grain because of it but it feels very candid for that reason. No editing, no makeup and no special outfit. This is what I look like, when I look in the mirror.

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Below the South Kensington Station in the tunnel on my way to the V&A I saw these windows and how the backlight illuminated the fence behind them, leaving strange shadows that only I seemed to notice, as people rushed through. This is probably my favourite photograph of them all.

4 Comments

  1. Lea
    October 16, 2016 / 12:08 pm

    I LOVE your comment! That is exactly how it feels, liberating is a really good way to describe it. Film just makes ordinary things become magical because it makes us take an interest in them, makes us notice them more or in a different way.

  2. October 7, 2016 / 1:40 pm

    I love how film changes what we feel we are allowed to shoot. Somehow, nothing is “too ordinary to photograph” on a disposable. It’s liberating.

  3. Lea
    August 30, 2016 / 12:42 pm

    Aww, thank you! I haven’t really used colour disposables since my childhood and although I like shooting instant colour photos, I really love the black and white disposable. I think the lack of colour makes it easier for me to focus on what I want photograph and helps me literally see the light. I love playing with shadows too!

    Would love to see your photos and I always read your new blog posts, so I’ll keep an eye out. Loving the new posts lately! If I end up doing something with your word and image prompts, I’ll promise to share.

  4. August 20, 2016 / 8:36 pm

    These photographs are so beautiful. It’s funny but I never thought to buy a black and white disposable camera. I think I may have to after this. I usually just buy colour ones. Thank you for inspiring me.

    I actually shot some photographs for a future blog post in black and white the other day and I absolutely loved playing with shadow.

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