Debshots Photography | First Steps

First Steps

January 13, 2017  •  Leave a Comment


I have, over the past year and a half, begun a return to film and film photography, and when I found myself having the same conversation with the same five people over and over I decided to start a blog. Mostly so that I could give those five people, but mostly my husband, a break.

When I began working in photography some 20 years ago film is all there was, and for the first ten years or so I worked almost exclusively in 35mm black and white. Then I went to college and learned about medium and large format, color and color slide film, and alternative processes.

Then came digital photography, and after some reluctance I dove into this new and different process. I invested in computer and camera systems with abandon, used the speed of digital photography to grow and develop as a photographer. But as I grew in the digital realm I felt something coming apart in the deep center of my artistic mind.

In an effort to move past this feeling I began to work on broadening my horizons of subject matter; and I picked up cosplay photography. This allowed me to experiment with other artists who were understanding of the process and craft. But no matter how much I created I never got past that feeling that pervasively wheedled its way into every image I looked at; that rotten, hollow, soulless feeling.

Desperate to get to the bottom of what was happening I pulled away from digital photography and from a lot of my friends and colleagues, and considered what I missed.

The answer came to me when I was cleaning the workroom; and I came across my Hasselblad. Carefully stored with a spare back and a couple rolls of expired Plus-X. The camera was missing its ground-glass, or ‘focusing screen’, and hadn’t been used in more than six years that I knew of . . . but these are well made cameras and I new with some investments I could get it up and running again.

Then came the real shock. As I continued to clean the workroom I found a box, and in that box were smaller boxes, some full of 120 black and white film rolls, but the rest were 12 boxes of 100ft rolls of 70mm color film, still in the canister, just waiting to be shot.
And I knew what my next project was going to be.

This creative and emotional abyss that had such an effect on me was going to eat it on 1200 feet (that’s almost a quarter of a mile) of 70mm film. If I could find all the stuff to get the film into the camera, shoot it, develop it, and then find a way to get the film to print form.
Clearly I have a lot to work out. Some of this has been more or less solved. I have found much of the gear I need to make this happen, but there is still lots of experimenting, mistakes, and discoveries to make.

Care to join me?

You’re more than welcome.


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