My ‪#‎we35‬ February Expedition Contact Sheet and What It Taught Me

Experiment “February is a month of cautious optimism” like shooting a roll of film.  It made it a great time for this months we35’s expedition. We were to head out, limited to only 36 images , and share, some details of our daily lives. Originally I was going to use a film camera. There was some equipment failure, though I opted for the digital approach. I used a fixed ISO and White  Balance and shot in black and white. It was a great learning experience.


Instruments Sony A7 , Sony 35mm Fe 2.8 Nitz Strap. Think Tank Urban Disguise v60

Location lost in my world. New Jersey, New York & drinking coffee

Observations-This was an extremely fulfilling expedition. It was also a learning experience. I developed  my style ,mostly ,around my camera settings. I tried to take full advantage of all the digital tools at my disposal. It’s made me a little lazy in a way.

This expedition, which made me work as if my digital camera was a film camera, completely changed my Photog frame of mind. For too long I separated the way I worked with a film camera from the way I worked with a digital. To me they were different tools. Going into this expedition, limiting myself to 36 frames, setting the ISO to  400 and using only a 35mm lens helped me learn a new approach to my photowanderings. While  working with a decent size memory card I had no constraints. Forcing this restraint on myself I really paid attention to how I shot. Mistakes were made, imperfect images created , but a real appreciation my my own work sprung forth.

Findings If you are a serious artisan, you make what you are asked to make. You don’t  say ‘I can’t do that.’You make a way.  Working with this film limitation on my digital camera I was reminded of this. This is one of the greatest artistic lessons I have had in photography in some time. Instead of wasting a lot of shots, you try to make everyone count. The older photographers, who only had film at their disposal, had to work this way. When they were done with their plates or their rolls of film, they were done. I remember a story about Alfred Stiglitz. He was working with wet plates. He had one left. On a boat with his family, he saw a scene that fascinated him, held him. He got the shot he wanted. If he missed it. He could do no more. Giving my photography limits helped me build a better appreciation for creating my images.


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