On Sunday, a good friend and one of the best photographers I know, Michael, of Ash Imagery, held a workshop at Love Me Do's studio with his talented colleague Kiera. It was an instant film workshop. Yes, you're thinking Polaroid, Land Cameras and Fujifilm; something you all thought died, right?
The two of them came with so much knowledge to share with the small group of us, and we listened closely, eagerly waiting to dig into the pile of cameras. I'm not much of a learner - I do things over and over again until I develop a flow or figure out my own way without reading the directions. That's how I cook, shoot and certainly how I imagined this workshop would go. Me picking up something new and hitting buttons until I figured it out, wasting a ton of film in the process.
But after a few hours of carefully reviewing each film type and how each camera works and even how they fire a shutter (because it's not all that easy with the Mamiya RZ67). But after 8 hours of being around Michael and Kiera, I finally learned something new again. And then to feel the cameras and feel the film coming out of them - I could see myself doing things both correctly, and incorrectly in an instant. But it's a different instant than digital. For most of us, we all know digital so well now that the second our highlights look the slightest bit brighter than we'd like, our fingers do exactly what they're supposed to and change that shit.
This was slow, thoughtful and calming. Digital for me means rushing through every image to get to the next, following movement; constantly changing aperture, Kelvin, lenses. This day (though a whirlwind), caused me to slow down and take my time, even more so than with 35mm. Most things I do are in a rush. I like to think of it as efficiency - but we'll call it what it is.
Thank you so much to our teachers for forcing me to slow down, meter before each frame (WHO DOES THAT), and enabling me to begin learning a new craft. I'm sharing a few images from the day - keeping in mind this was my first time picking up either (Polaroid 195 and the RZ67, with Polaroid backing) of these cameras.