35mm film

Massive Film Backlog by Simeon Smith

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I’ve no idea when I fell out of love with developing my own film. 

At first it seemed like magic; the images appearing in chemicals. The mindful, mindless, meditative process of mixing, rinsing, drying and scanning.

Recently, it’s just seemed like hard work. 

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I think part of it, is that the more you learn, the more you know can be done. Steps are added to the process, which becomes longer, more time consuming. 

When I didn’t know better I could process, scan and edit three rolls of film in a night. 

Now, I know the care and attention to detail that each image could be worthy of. 

But, in the end it all comes down to that old aphorism, attributed to Voltaire:

“Perfect is the enemy of good” 

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And don’t get me wrong, there are times when I aim for perfection. My two exhibitions have only had 4 images each, and I of course wanted each to as close to perfection as possible. 

But with stacks and stacks of negatives either developed and not scanned, or not even developed, it was time to try an old process. 

Around a year ago I bought a flatbed negative scanner. Every image you’ve seen of mine since then has been scanned using that scanner. It renders beautifully detailed grain and amazing contrasts. 

It also takes me around an hour to scan one roll of 35mm. A roll that I might only use 2 or 3 images from.

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So in order to work through my massive scanning backlog, the flatbed was put away, and my tiny old 5mp scanner came out of the cupboard. Is it good? Weeeellll…. It was good enough for my first book, but I guess no, in comparison it’s not great. But it has a great thing about it, and that is that I can scan a dozen films in an hour. 

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These images would never see the light of day if they waited for the flatbed. 

And who knows, maybe this post will encourage me to scan and edit these photos “properly”. 

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Film Swap with Lee Young by Simeon Smith

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A few weeks ago Hannah off of Lomography set me and a few other UK photographers up with a film swap with Singapore-based photographer Lee Young. Check out his work on Lomography here.

A film swap is where we both shoot a roll of film, swap the rolls, then shoot OVER THE TOP of each other’s photos.

Here’s a sneak peak of our photos from the project, but I’m sure Lomography will put a bunch together from the different shoots.

The Lomography Diana Is A Shit Camera for Street Photography And That Is Exactly Why You Should Use It For This Purpose. by Simeon Smith

26 Weeks Camera Challenge #21: Readymade by Simeon Smith

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I don’t know what photography is.

I mean, I know what a camera is. I know how it makes images. But photography as a whole? I’m not sure.

Is it, and if so when is it, art? Chemistry? Documentation? Media? Self-indulgence?

There’s more to it triggering a shutter and capturing some light, and at the same time, surely that’s all there is to it?

In my opinion, art reached it’s most self-referential point with Dadaism and Duchamp’s ready-mades. A urinal, on it’s back, in a gallery, with Duchamp’s signature on it was the most relevant “what is art?” moment.

In a similar way, Daido Moriyama’s photos of glossy magazine photographs and garish billboards in my opinion ask some of the most important contemporary questions about photography, authorship, creativity and media. By capturing an image of an image we end up with a feedback loop where one type of media shines light on another.

Richard Prince took this one step further by blowing up and selling (for tens of thousands of dollars!) large screenshots of other people’s Instagram posts, without the original instagrammer’s permission.

This week, explore ownership, appropriation and the visual public space by taking pictures of other people’s pictures. Ads in bus stops, stock images in books, things you find on the screen of your phone, whatever.

Questions:

1.       When is appropriation in art good?

2.       Where is the line between inspiration and theft?

3.       Are images in the public domain fair game?

Mood [A Gallery] by Simeon Smith

Shot to Fomapan 100 and digital, on a few different cameras over the last 2 months.