Massive Film Backlog by Simeon Smith


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. 


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” 


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.


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. 


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”. 


How to be Inspired. Always. by Simeon Smith

You don’t need fancy gear, a purpose built studio, the right weather and a full moon to be inspired.

You don’t need fresh ideas, positive vibes, and the praise of peers to be inspired.

You just need to go to work.

Picasso said: “Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.”

So get at it.

1.       Carry a creative tool with you everywhere. No, your phone or laptop does NOT count. I carry a film camera with me everywhere, or if I’m on a train, I take my tenori-on. Having something to hand always reminds me that I’m on this earth for more than survival.

2.       Switch off your phone, switch off your wifi. I am weak. Chances are, so are you. I can’t even read a book these days without being distracted by ooo… shiny! I wonder what’s on Instagram. My hands do it automatically. Even when I’ve left my phone on purpose, I still reach for it. I was with David last night, and he called his smart phone “crack cocaine”.  Yup. It’s that bad. Disconnect from the world, and reconnect with… oh that was about to be cheesy. Thanks for stopping me.

3.       Collaborate. However inspirational you find stuff, art, music, nature, it’ll be better if it’s shared. I’m lucky enough to live with my best friends. I work on art at least once a week with someone else, and I could see this as time that is taking away from me making my own art, but it inspires me so much. Also, without collaborators my palette would be seriously limited. They introduce me to new sounds, new ideas, new instruments.

4.       Be kind to yourself. Take a shower, go for a walk, grab a coffee, sit outside, eat healthy food, phone a friend, get comfy. You can be blindsided by inspiration anywhere, but sustainable inspiration comes from a place of wellbeing.

5.       Slow down. Count your victories, not your frustrations, maybe today you took just one photo, maybe you recorded just one harmony. Maybe that’s enough. Start looking at how much you’ve accomplished this week, this month, this year, not how much you’ve done in the last half hour.

by Simeon Smith

Minimalism. My kickstarter is now well over £800, has already met the first two goals, and so close to the next stretch goal. Check it out if you haven’t already. Link in profile. This photo shot to #Fomapan 400 #film on a #Lomo #Lubitel Universal.

Minimalism. My kickstarter is now well over £800, has already met the first two goals, and so close to the next stretch goal. Check it out if you haven’t already. Link in profile. This photo shot to #Fomapan 400 #film on a #Lomo #Lubitel Universal.

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by Simeon Smith

Portrait? Shot to #Fomapan 400 #film on my 1938 #Leica

Portrait? Shot to #Fomapan 400 #film on my 1938 #Leica

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