Posts Tagged ‘time travel’

Photography used to be time travel. We took photographs, and then forgot them. That magic roll of film held the memory safe, tucked away in the dark to be revealed and relived at another time.

A trip to the Fotomat was highly anticipated–the roll finished and developed, it offered wonderful surprises, time travel, remembering and reliving moments, the essence of photography.

File:This is a typical drive-up Fotomat booth..jpg

In this instant digital world, that magic is missing, the distance between creating the photograph and reliving it is non-existent, perhaps why photography feels less fulfilling than it once did. I make a photo, I show it to you, you’ve seen it, I’ve seen it, it’s all done. Nothing left to do but the chore to get it to you, which I may never do, because who cares, you already saw it.

I made a portrait of a woman yesterday for The Wise Photo Project and I made it on a Hasselblad film camera on black and white film. Someone asked me why shoot film, and I said, “If I don’t shoot film, I have nothing to print in my darkroom. I need a negative to create a print by hand, a one-of-a-kind hand-printed silver portrait.”


If her family wants to share it, they’ll have to visit her to see the print–that’s the product of these portrait shoots, a photograph. Framed. For real. Not a swipe left or right. Not an email or a scan. A real photograph to place in her house and have for future generations to keep and always know her face.

She’s looking forward to her portrait. She’ll be very happy when she sees the wonderful image of herself. I’m proud of it and that I had the opportunity to make it.

But she’ll have to wait for it.

Therein lies the magic.

And if you want to see it, well, you won’t find it here. You’ll have to stop over and visit her to see her portrait.

Maybe have a coffee and some conversation, too. Another bonus to creating an actual photograph–time spent together.

Friday night at the movies.  Time travel, but not the sci-fi kind.

I watched seven rolls of standard 8mm film that my partner brought home from her Father’s house.  The boxes are all marked “Process by” between 1958 and 1961.  When I pulled out the boxes, and saw they were all Kodachrome, I knew I was in for a treat.  The colors are magnificent.

10987577_10205035798126741_2335846436322090869_nWe fired up the projector and stood staring at the white wall.  And for a couple of hours we were time travelers.  We saw her Dad as a young man in the military in Yuma, AZ and in Long Branch, NJ.  And her Dad and Mom holding her oldest brother as an infant. I heard my partner gasp at the sight of her family.

Simple scenes of them standing around with friends, making faces, goofing around.  Pushing a car that needed a push.  We were literally traveling back in time watching them.  Looking at billboards for products and services of some time ago.  It was so much fun to see every car on the street is an old 50’s classic.  A gunfight in some tourist town.  A backyard party.

What to shoot?  It almost didn’t matter.  The time and the medium are the message so much more than the subject matter.  It made me pull out an 8mm Bolex I had lying around, dust it off and load up a roll of Cine-X, the only 8mm film I can get nowadays.

What I shoot doesn’t matter so much as the film is saved for 55 years like the ones we watched were.  I love how they took us back to their lives all those years ago.  It was fantastic, better than most movies I see.