analoguephotography

Lake Garda, Revisited. by Simeon Smith

No, unfortunately I haven’t been back to Italy in the past few weeks, but there’s this weird thing with experimenting with plastic film cameras, and that is that sometimes the experiments don’t work and instead of throwing away the images, you shrug, and clip them into a binder with the rest of your negatives, for no reason whatsoever.

And years later come across them and think - I wonder what is actually ON those negatives.

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I went to Lake Garda 3 years ago, and took a Holga 120TLR, which I since swapped for a bog standard Holga 120N (If it ain’t broke, don’t add a waist-level viewfinder), and a Lomography La Sardina 35mm point and shoot. 

The Holga shots came out beautifully, so beautifully in fact that one of them was selected by my Kickstarter backers to be the print they received with my book “Every Shot Matters”. 

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The La Sardina photos, though, didn’t really come out at all. I’d found a batch of expired Boots iso400 colour film and thought it’d suit the Sardina really well, but it was crazy sunny and bright every day in Italy, and the Sardina is fixed at f8. So the negatives mostly came out overexposed, and because the film base had darkened so much in the 15-odd years since it had expired, the automatic scanner at Neil’s place didn’t take them. Also, the negatives were scratched to high hell for some reason, maybe old brittle glue around the edges of the old canisters? My home scanner, also couldn’t pick up the images, and holding them up to a light revealed a very sorry sight indeed, so I put the negatives  away and forgot about them. 

With the Holga shots coming out so very well, I wasn’t in the mood for a salvage job on some shitty negatives.

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Fast-forward 3 years. 

Today it has been drizzly. I’m home alone with the kids, who haven’t wanted to do anything much apart from watch Youtube and play card games. We tidied the house, we popped out in the drizzle to run a couple of errands. 

You know the kind of Saturday. 

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The perfect Saturday to spend painstakingly masking off each individual frame that you think might work from ruined negatives from a trip you took 3 years ago. 

I hope you enjoy the images as much as I’ve enjoyed revisiting Garda. 

All photos shot to shitty and very-expired Boots brand colour film on a Lomography La Sardina.

The Light Through [Colour] by Simeon Smith

DUDE! You haven't blogged in like a month. by Simeon Smith

Yeah... about that.... You're right. It's unacceptable and try to do better. I've still got the 26 weeks series to finish off and THEN I can relax a little. 

Anyhow, I've been in London for a few days going to a gig, shooting a short film and attending a conference. No, I haven't slept much, thanks for asking. 

A couple of days ago I was craving some creative freedom, caught a tube to near Carnaby Street, and walked with Andy from Black Eyewear to the Lomography Shop. I took these photos along the way. 

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?

26 Weeks Camera Challenge #19: Flat Lay by Simeon Smith

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A really powerful tool to self-improvement is to the things that are totally out of your comfort zone, and it's the same for photography. 

There are a lot of photographic techniques and styles I have no interest in at all and because I've never experimented with them, I'm bloody useless at them. 

For me, something I had to do around a year ago was sort out some "flat-lays" for an article I was featured in. They're pretty popular on the instagrams, and a lot of people are great at doing these strange constructed still-life style photos, usually shot from above, usually on a flat background. 

For you perhaps this is second nature, though. 

So this week, do some flat lays, unless of course you're already really proficient at them, at which point I'd encourage you to do something else totally out of your comfort zone. 

Questions:

1. How has product photography influenced the art world and vice versa? 

2. What did you learn that you can apply to an area of art that you are comfortable with?

3. Why are certain types of photo, like flat lays, more popular online than other types?