I was given my first SLR by my dad back in 1981. It was a Minolta XGM and I loved it. Easy to use, great lens and not too bulky. I shot mostly on magical Kodachrome and looking back, that particular stock taught me a lot. I fell in love with the vibrancy of everyday, found colours and textures, and it wasn't a cheap option so I tried to make every shot count. I composed in camera, there was no 'Photoshop' option back then to rescue misframed pictures, and I had many internal debates about whether a shot was worth taking. Was the light right? Was the shot strong enough?
And then there was the process of the processing. Finishing the film and winding it back into its light tight container, praying it wouldn't jam. It never did but there was always that slight possibility. Flipping open the back of the camera and then popping the yellow, metal canister, full of my carefully chosen images into the preprinted yellow envelope and posting it to somewhere in Hemel Hempstead.
And then the wait.....
And the return, a satisfying clunk on to the mat by the door, and the excitement of looking at the finished slides, in the first instance just by holding them upto a window one by on. then I acquired a little viewer and finally a light box. The laying out of the thirty six, sometimes thirty seven or even eight, if you were really lucky, small framed pictures was always a special moment. I would pour over them recalling the exact moment I released the shutter - even today I can look at thirty year old images and remember with some clarity the time and place.
So these days I take more pictures, digital photos don't have the same price tag attached to them as transparencies, but I don't shoot randomly, and I rarely take more than one of a given subject. I still compose in camera, or rather on screen and I edit as I go. What I find frustrating though is the storage and cataloguing of digital pics. I love my boxes of slides and negatives, there's something tangible about them, but digital is just pixels and codes that fill up my memory, or rather my computer's memory. So that is an issue I am going to have to tackle head on.
And what do I do with all this picture gathering?
Here are some collaged pages from one of my sketch books, themed in colours, subjects or textures.
Hope you feel inspired to have a go and get creative yourself.
|A page of assorted windows with thoughts on opposite page|
|I am not really a pink girl but I love this random selection|
|Glorious orange compositions collaged together|