DIY Photography

I will probably try every single one of these.

As a black and white film turned digital photographer, I miss a lot of the effort involved in shooting quality photos. I still remember the high school photography class days. My senior year, I was the only one in Photo 3 and was therefore lumped into a Photo 1 class where I was responsible to set up and maintain the dark room every day. I had to mix the chemicals and check all the machines to ensure that the students had everything they needed to develop and print correctly.

I also remember spending hours on ONE exposure just to get it printed to perfection. More time consuming and difficult than that was shooting in medium format or with a Holga. The few times I shot large format, I stood and stared at my subject, waiting for the perfect light and struggling to find the perfect angle and composition because it was a one time shot. Those days it was an art. Now, like everything else, it is all about mass production.

Many of the photographers out there have a quantity over quality approach and believe that Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop will fix all of their little errors. They spend thousands of dollars on camera bodies and lenses and shoot 15 of the same scene and hope either one comes out or at least is fixable in Photoshop. I have nothing against photo editing software at all, but what if there was some artistic vision left? What if we spent some time to set up and manipulate exactly what we wanted before we squeezed that shutter?

It’s little creative tips like these that show me some people are still looking for ways to put some imagination in without a computer. That makes me excited and hopeful that digital doesn’t have to ruin photography. Good form.