Part exercise, part therapy. A little bit of experimentation. A little bit meditation. Science, and soul. Photography is a little bit of everything.
My mind is moving at a thousand miles per hour typically. Once I pick up the camera, that changes a bit. It's the one time where everything is working together. There's also this cool set of dichotomies that unravel in my mind. Wandering around, going to nowhere in particular gives me direction and purpose. Time is this thing that flows through your fingers like water, yet once that snap happens, I can capture a moment. It's present and past at the same time. It makes me contemplate time, space, existence. Everything.
In thinking of al those things, I'm forced to think about myself as much as I'm thinking about the world around me. I know this all sounds far more dramatic than just taking a photo, and I guess it is. The camera is more than the thing I use to occupy my time, or make a dollar or two. It's the thing that balances me out. It's mirror and magnifying glass. The more I look out, the more I see in.
All these photos were taken with my (sadly deceased) Nikon L35AF and Ultrafine 100 film. I don't remember what I developed it in, but judging by the grain, it was likely Caffenol made with this recipe:
It actually works far better than I anticipated at first, and now I use it fairly often. That could be the result of a combination of cheapness and laziness, but either way, it works. One thing to note: this is one shot developer. You use it once then toss it. I made the mistake of trying to re-use this after a week and the results were not pretty. I assume the potency wears off pretty quickly. Someone with more time and patience than me can test this out more extensively, as I know there are a million caffenol recipes out there. One of the many things I love about film photography is it encourages exploration and experimentation. The scientist in me approves.
The replacement for the L35 was the fantastically compact Olympus XA2. It's a bit different in terms of feel, but definitely fills a need. Keep an eye out for it in a future post. A post I'm totally not guaranteeing I'll ever write.