“Just Let Me Shoot the End of this Roll”

You know when you’re ready to develop film, but you still have a handful of frames left and you hate to waste them? After all, film is pricey. What do you do? You call your spouse or other family member or a friend (perhaps a furry one) to make a few quick photos. Or you take a quick photo walk around the block.

You have to make quick photos.

Ah, that’s the way, quick photos! You’re working without overthinking. You’re making photos free of all the thought that often goes into making photographs. You’re free to just burn a few.

Think about the feeling of what it is like making photos this way, how much the creative side of our brains is jazzed. We get to do anything–we have no limits. Let’s go create. Play. Try things. Experiment. Play some more!

I think those are probably some of the best photographs that we make, the ones that wouldn’t be made except we don’t want to waste the film and so we go and make a quick portrait. Photos that would never have come into existence but for the need to finish the roll.

My partner, MaryLee, who is always willing to pose for my camera.

I run The Photo Game which requires a film photograph a week from the participating photographers, and I know they end up making other photos that aren’t for the game, to use up the film so they can get it out of the camera and into developer. Those are photos that wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for this game. There would be no reason to go play. Nothing would be due, so why bother.

But something is due. (If you miss the deadline, you’re out of the game, no exceptions.) So, the photographers are forced to get the roll out of the camera, might as well finish it off. No sense wasting the film.

I hear from them saying the game is very inspiring and they are glad to be part of it and thank me for creating it and building the gallery of photos each week. But I know one of the best things that’s coming from their participation is they’re making other photos.

The others.

The end of the roll. The extra pictures. The, “Quick let’s shoot these here,” photos.

The photographs that get created out of the need to create now. The burning desire to make something.

That’s a good use of film. That’s good photography.

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