I am in love….. with large format photography. I decided to give it a try this semester after really beginning to feel burned out and totally drained of all creativity. I feel like my digital camera is holding me back. Don’t get me wrong, I like having it since the results are instant, but my images were too easy to make and I didn’t like what I was getting. Shortly after the semester began, I was looking through some of my old photos and was remembering how exciting it as to get that one great image back from the lab. I wanted that feeling again. So, a couple of Sundays ago, I went on the field trip with the LF (large format, for future reference) class and had so much fun shooting what I wanted to shoot. It felt so good to pull the dark slide, expose my film, and replace the slide knowing in my mind the picture that I had. I was so excited to develop so that I could at least see my negatives and was ecstatic about what I saw. Then, when I printed my proof prints, I practically ran to my car giggling and didn’t really even care that I was going to be a bit late for work. I had them. I had pictures that I was happy with, and that I cared about and that was all I cared about. I didn’t think about making photos good enough to sell, I didn’t care if anybody liked them, and I felt satisfied. To be honest, I haven’t felt really satisfied with a picture of mine in a long time. Oh sure, there are a few that I like and catch my eye more than once, but the majority are just blips of digital information that takes up room on my hard drive.
Just give me silver negatives and the smell of photo chemicals wafting down the art building hall any day of the week and I’m happy.