believeinfilm

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.

Sunset by Simeon Smith

Shot to Fujicolor on a Canon AE-1.

Push The Button. by Simeon Smith

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Push the button. 

Push it out of sheer joy. 

Push it because you might catch the moment. 

Push it because you might not. 

Push the button. 

Push it out creative impulse. 

Push it out of boredom. 

Push it just to hear the familiar sound of the shutter firing. 

Push the button. 

Capture your brightest hopes and darkest fears.

Capture your friends and your frenemies.

Capture your home town and your destination. 

Capture the journey. 

Capture things you can’t remember when you look back at the images. 

Capture things you can’t make out when you look back at the images.

Capture things you thought were interesting, but aren’t. 

Capture things you weren’t sure why you were capturing, but now can see clearly. 

Focus. 

Focus on what’s important. 

Focus on what isn’t important, because what’s important is too much to bear. 

Focus on the detail and on the bigger picture. 

Focus on the foreground and the scenery. 

Focus past infinity. 

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Make it Personal by Simeon Smith

The best photography is personal. 

The mechanics of creating an image is now so simple, so ubiquitous, so automated, that we sometimes forget that it’s Photography with a capital Ph. 

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It’s rarely conscious, but when I scroll through my Instagram feed I’m digesting images differently to when I go to an exhibition, or open one of my favourite photo books.

But the best photography crosses over those thought processes. 

The greatest moments in a gallery for me is when you catch a glimpse of the artist’s process. When you see into their lives, into their thoughts and into their emotions.

And the greatest posts on social media are the ones that for some reason or another make you feel a little more than usual, make you question the thought process behind the image, make you appreciate the post for the art held within it.