It’s been a much more productive month. One of greater photographic opportunity, but also of reflection.
I’ve found the 366 project very rewarding so far. I’ve made a good number of images I like that I wouldn’t have otherwise. I feel more confident shooting film and setting exposure by eye. On a more fundamental level it also gives me chances to contemplate – letting me reexamine my connection to photography.
What should I spend my time shooting? What is worth sharing? What parts do I enjoy? Should I aim for wide appeal or shoot just for myself? Do I like images made when I’m going slow or when shooting with the gut? These are all things I’ve thought about before, but they all become clearer with this project. I don’t really expect to find final answers to any of these questions, but instead perhaps swing between lesser and lesser extremes.
A more uncomplicated consideration is whether to shoot black & white or colour. When I started this project I had just recently shot my first roll of B&W in years. I found it very enjoyable and as a new world had opened. It felt good starting this project in B&W as winter is almost monochrome as it is. I was also just beginning to scan on my own I wanted a focused process.
It’s been a great experience and the right choice so far. There are dimensions of shooting B&W that I enjoy that I hadn’t even considered before trying it this extensively. But I’ve also had mixed feelings about its role in the rest of the project. I never considered B&W as the sole medium for the full year, and planned to switch back to colour pretty quickly. But I feel more attached to B&W than I expected and have postponed going back roll after roll.
Still my attachment to colour runs deep. For every aspect I enjoy about B&W there’s a different facet pulling me towards colour (and consequently the other way around too).
While I enjoy the consistency of B&W I sometimes feel that nothing stands out and the overall impression is bland. On one hand I like that when it works B&W feels like capturing the essence of a subject. On the other hand sense of time and place is stronger with colour. B&W feels to me more about content than visual appeal. Colour feels like it needs to be pretty to work, but there’s so much in life that can be interesting without looking pretty. On the other hand, is trying to capture what’s pretty all that bad?*
* These are all pretty broad generalisations based on my own preferences for my own work, I don’t necessarily feel the same way about others works or work in other contexts.
That the month kicked off with the remaining roll of Portra in my Hasselblad (as mentioned in the February entry) didn’t make me any less ambivalent. I really love some of the images simply based on how they look (though I’m not totally happy with the quality of the scans of this roll).
I’m not yet sure if I’m ready to go back to colour yet or even fully, but I’ll probably give it a go again in the coming months.
I’ve shot the month mostly using the Leica M4-P with either the 28 Summicron or 50 Sonnar. I added an Olympus XA to my rotation for the days when I can’t practically bring the Leica. It’s a pretty good little rangefinder and I got a fair number of keepers from it too. There’s a handful of shots from it in this set (view separately).
As for this months photos there’s still a lot of images from around home, of family life. One weekend I went to Tyresta National park and took a walk in the serene landscape. I didn’t have much luck with the weather with a lot of rain and then snow but it was a pleasant afternoon nonetheless. The month concluded with a road trip to southern Sweden to visit family. My daughter meeting my grandmother was an amazing occasion and the images really warms my heart. I made a bunch of photos simply hanging out with family, but also some walking around my old home town. I picked at least one image for every day, but sometimes two or three.
This is March.
The colour photos in this post was made using the Hasselblad 500C, Planar 80/2.8 and Kodak Portra 400. Developed and scanned at Team Framkallning.
B&W photos in this post were taken using the Leica M4-P & Ilford HP5+ or the Olympus XA & Kodak Tri-X. Developed by Team Framkallning and scanned at home using the Plustek 8200i.