On Film

February 5th, 2010 by Jason Hardy
[caption id="attachment_768" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="Woman on Webster by Jason Hardy"][/caption] Over the years we have all adapted to new ways of interacting with media. One area that I have paid particular attention to is my relationship with photography, and more specifically, the actual taking of pictures. It has changed in a number of ways since my early days of snapping pictures for the yearbook or shots of my skateboarding friends, but one of the most dramatic changes came when I switched from shooting film to shooting digital. All of the sudden I had the instant gratification and unlimited undos that come standard with personal computing, all applied to the way I took photos. And so it changed the way I took photos. I'm not a professional photographer, but I do use photography in a variety of ways. There is the photography that I use in my work — making textures, shooting images to be used in a design direction, shooting products or lifestyle photography, etc... There is also the photography that everyone is accustomed to — vacation photos, family, friends, iPhone pics, etc... And then there is that more personal, artful, purely expressive photography, rooted in my initial interest of framing and capturing moments in the world around me. After shooting digital for a number of years I recently found myself missing some of the special qualities of shooting film. There are the aesthetic differences, sure, but I think that what I missed the most was the permanence of film. Knowing that you have a limited number of exposures, there is always the hunt for the perfect shot. The one that merits a click. And then there is the moment that you actually shoot the photo. Waiting for the time to be just right, for everything to be in place. Wanting to get it right without wasting too much film, and then not knowing if you got it right until you get the photos back. The wait was a huge part of the joy of shooting photos for me. The anticipation that maybe you got something wonderful. The disappointment of realizing that you blew it or the thrill of having that artifact, perfectly captured. I recently stumbled upon an easy way to keep those experiences as part of my daily life. I was in my local Walgreens where I noticed a small, cheap, plastic point-and-shoot camera for sale with a violator on the package that said "Free film for life!" Obviously I took note. Turns out the deal is, you buy the camera for $10 and it comes loaded with 35mm color film. You shoot that role, bring it in to a Walgreens and develop the film there, roughly $7, and they re-load the camera with another roll of film for free. I assume it is because the switch to digital left them with mountains of unused film stock. [caption id="attachment_992" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="Walgreens 35mm Camera"][/caption] The camera itself is a pretty lousy device, but for the money, it offers a cheap change of pace from shooting with my Nikon D90. And the images themselves have a beautifully primitive quality to them. Not too far off from a Lomo or a Holga. Ian and I chatted recently about the over-reliance of some photographers on the style that a particular camera affords, but concluded that it is not the camera that is important, but rather the intention of the photographer. I try not to over think the photos that I make with the Walgreens camera, but my intention is clear – to take a stab at capturing one moment at a time and letting the chips fall where they may. I don't mean to imply that I am opposed to digital photography. That is not the case. I love shooting digital, but sometimes having too many options can actually become a hindrance to the creative process. Perimeters and limitations, in my opinion, are a good thing. [caption id="attachment_767" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="Sidewalk on Lower Haight by Jason Hardy"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_761" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="Sue Gets A Cab by Jason Hardy"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_763" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="Skull and Throne by Jason Hardy"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_760" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="Bathroom Instructions by Jason Hardy"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_756" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="BMW Parked On Bum Sign by Jason Hardy"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_753" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="Man On Bench by Jason Hardy"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_754" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="Chinatown Garage Door by Jason Hardy"][/caption] So now I carry this plastic Walgreens branded camera around wherever I go. I use it when the mood strikes or I notice something worth capturing. Something worth a click. The lack of instant gratification and the idea of getting one shot at capturing a moment is a nice change of pace from my daily, computerized existence, where almost any move can be "undone." Where everything happens real-time and what you see is what you get. It is nice, on occasion, to set yourself up to be surprised. Jason Hardy, Designer. jasonhardy.info [caption id="attachment_764" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="Trash Corner"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_766" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="Maxx by Jason Hardy"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_774" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="Up by Jason Hardy"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_759" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="Golden Gate by Jason Hardy"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_773" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="My Brothers In The Snow by Jason Hardy"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_755" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="Bird On A Beach"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_772" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="Highway 77, Christmas Day - 2009 by Jason Hardy"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_769" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="Intersection"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_751" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="Corner In Chicago by Jason Hardy"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_748" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="Breakfast"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_747" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="Buddies by Jason Hardy"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_746" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="Iceman by Jason Hardy"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_771" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="Windows by Jason Hardy"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_765" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="Information? by Jason Hardy"][/caption]

2 Responses to “On Film”

  1. Jeanne M. Myer Says:

    I Love your sense of picture-taking. They were all very interesting, taking in all walks of our life here in the good ‘ole US of A. I especially liked the “Brothers” pic, the “Man on park bench, “Buddies”, and “Information” booth. I’m quite proud of my Grandson’s work. Love you. G.J.

  2. Linda K. Hardy Says:

    Your artist’s eye is amazing to me! Excellent work. My favorites: Woman on Webster, Trash Corner, and Golden Gate Bridge which is as good or better than many published pictures I have seen of the Bridge. Love you-MOM

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