Photo Essay


The Window

Most people will throw a filter over the lens, shoot through it and move on. That's too easy. Use any SLR and you know exactly what you're going to get. I wanted mystery, and I wanted surprise.

I wrote a follow up essay to Tim Rahto's One Man's Junk. In my own adventure, I took my $2 camera and inserted torn tape edges. Sure, it was fun experimentation, but I already knew what the effect was going to look like. Fancy, uneven borders wasn't going to cut it twice. This time, I had to go one further.

I liked the mottled effect that the borders gave to the image beneath, so I covered the entire frame (right at the film plane) with a piece of masking tape; loaded the camera with 200 speed film, and proceeded to shoot.

Things I knew:

Everything being set on the camera - ISO, shutter speed, aperture - meant I had to wait for beautiful, sunny days, or risk underexposure. Not a problem.

Since detail was out of the question, I had to compose for color and shape. Not my normal angle, but still OK.

It took nearly three weeks to go through 1 roll of film! Such is the torture of waiting on Ohio weather.

Other than curves adjustments, the images are presented as is. Even spots and fuzz were left in; the charm of a plastic camera that cost me half a gallon of gas.

What else will I place on the film plane? The list of possibilities keeps growing...bubble wrap, insect wings, text, other negatives, salt. If you have an idea, let me know. Better yet, try it yourself and share the results.

In the end, I'm pleased with the abstractions that were created. Being used to defining detail, it's nice to occasionally relinquish control to the unknown.

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