As we have now reached the end of the first month of this little exercise it is time to reflect and ponder some questions.
-What is the point?
-Is this costing too much?
-What about the Deardorff?
What is the point?
Well the point is to enjoy photography. And I have to say I am doing that. I am enjoying taking things slowly and trying to find good pictures, not just snapping away and seeing if I get lucky. I am enjoying the moments when I turn on the lights in the darkroom and start pulling negatives out of the fixer. I am enjoying the excuse of this exercise to get people to sit for portraits. I am enjoying working on a single image a day (multiple exposures) and trying to pull the most out of it with the tools at hand.
I am enjoying working with the simple/complex camera that my Bender 4×5 is. Taking time to focus, and shifting the focus around the way you want it. Pushing movements to see when things start to go wrong. Composing in colour, but shooting in black & white.
I may be making lots of mistakes, but I am learning. I am learning not to make operator errors with the camera, but more importantly I think that I am learning to take better pictures. Practise is the key, and practise is what I am getting. Practise in moving slowly and seeing the image before you snap the shutter. Practise talking to real people and getting them to laugh naturally before the lens.
Is this costing too much?
I have self doubts about this exercise, why don’t I just use one of my digital cameras? Or if it has to be film, why not a 35mm camera where 36 exposure only cost $4. I don’t think these doubts can be completely overcome. But I am taking steps to keep costs down, for example I am developing everything myself, and HC-110 is really inexpensive developer.
But ultimately I will watch my costs, and if this costs “too much” I will stop. But in the meantime the results are worth it. The pleasure I get from looking at the prints on my wall makes it seem very worthwhile.
What about the Deardorff?
The Deardorff is not forgotten. The ribs are ready for the Bellows. This exercise has not lessoned my desire to finish the Deardorff. I am looking forward to using the Derdorff itself for this project. To be honest I am overwhelmed by the next step in assembling the bellows. I need pause to practise it in my mind, and I need not rush what is a complex process.