POSITIVES 'N NEGATIVES: A little introduction to this project...
For those who shoot film: how many times have you been strolling down the street when you see the perfect shot? It could be a group of kids running with smiles on their faces. Or perhaps two lovers embracing each other, contrasted against a picturesque background. Maybe even some animals playing when the light is just barely too low.... You click…. Wait…. Develop…. Wait… And finally the grand reveal: a photo that is not at all what you wanted— subjects out of focus, over/underexposed past rescue, colors ruined in the development process. We’ve all been there— this is an experience that is inherent to the adventure that is analog photography, but it is not a feature we often display or talk about publicly. Maybe these are the frames we file and forget about; maybe these are the shots we reflect on privately in order to refine our skillset as individual photographers. We tell ourselves, okay, now I know for the next time and I certainly won't make this mistake again, but we never show these photos to our friends or peers because to us, these are the photos that have disappointed us. There are so many aspects of shooting film— the film, the ISO, the speed, the focus, the lighting, the lens, the camera itself— and these different, changing components can be hard to master. It is a medium that requires a lot of trial and error, and re-trial and re-error.
I started shooting film a little over a year ago myself. Every time I see a photograph I like by another artist, I think to myself, how did they do it? Was this obtained through trial and error? Is there something I'm doing wrong? What should I be trying, and what should I be avoiding? With regards to analog photography, I personally enjoy knowing the more technical side as well as the artistic side. Every film photographer has experienced that post-development moment where we feel complete pride towards our finished works because artistically (and often technically) we obtained exactly what we wanted. But we also know those moments where we think, oh man... I totally underexposed or used the wrong aperture, this isn't at all what I wanted. We always share the former, but I think there is value in sharing the experience of the latter with others in the film community. It is from this exchange that we can all learn and grow. My goal with this project is to give us a space as photographers to reflect upon and teach others about our hits and misses; to see the positives in the negatives.
-- Dana Gingras