It’s been almost two months since I returned from my sabbatical walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain. In addition to all the questions about the experience, one that comes up more and more is where are all the pictures from the trip?
Its not like I didn’t take any.
I left Seattle with my Nikon FM2, some lenses and about 30 rolls of Ilford black and white film. Going analog with fully manual camera meant I wanted to be always in the moment, thoughtfully capturing a scene not just filling up a memory card as quick as I could hit the shutter.
When I returned I had over 50 rolls of color and black and white film, having stocked up on new film in Madrid before heading to Portugal to recover from the Camino. I took it to two labs in Seattle — Panda Lab near the Seattle Center and the Shot On Film Store on Lake City Way. They developed and scanned all the film so I could load it into Lightroom (Classic, not CC).
Fine you may be thinking, shot a lot of film, got it all developed and now you’ve got the scans. Where are all the pictures? Where’s the big slideshow? Well I’ve shared a few to my Instagram and Flickr accounts but there are hundreds and hundreds more. What have I been spending time on?
Believe it or not I’ve been shooting even more film pictures.
I’m a big believer that you should always be learning something new. Even better if that new thing is a creative skill outside your professional life. It keeps your brain “well oiled”. In June I started a new class at Photographic Center Northwest in black and white film photography. In just the first four weeks I’ve shot, developed and printed another 10 rolls of film.
Even though I have a lot of experience shooting film, until this class I had never developed my own negatives or made my own prints. Unlike many people I never learned the basics in high school. I came to photography too late and jumped to digital as soon as I could. However taking the class and learning the fundamental analog techniques is helping me to be a better curator and editor of the images I already have along with the new ones I’m making.
So have a little patience. I’ll continue to work through the Camino catalog and share some highlights, along with photos from the class. Once the class is over I want to go back through my catalog with a fresh eye and new ideas on just how I can take all those photos beyond my online galleries.
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