In an attempt to complete my photography goals this year, I’m squeezing in opportunities—here and there when possible—to shoot with a variety of film cameras. The issue is not one of supply (I have plenty of traditional cameras to choose from, and a healthy stock of actual film) but that of convenience. I hate to say it aloud, but I’m a bit pampered by the ease of use that my digital camera selection offers.
Regardless, I do intend on photographing with film—that’s how we did it in the good old days of image-making—and had previously started with Film is Not Dead, although that same roll of film is still in the toy camera. I guess I need to finish those exposures already.
For the last week, inspired by the trip to the zoo with my daughters, I have been carrying around a simple 35mm plastic camera—the name of Black Slim Devil is a bit intimidating. The super-wide angle lens is fixed, constructed of plastic, and features only one aperture (of which designation I can’t say). There is no point in even holding the camera to your eye when creating an image, because the field of view is so wide and nearly everything is included in the frame.
As a result, I find myself using it as a point-and-shoot, creating images of people on the street, all stealth and ninja-like. Today I photographed a man outside of a shop in Oakland, and a woman waiting for the bus in the dark, illuminated only by a shop window display. Were the images any good? How should I know? I have to wait to see what they look like, once I send them out for development.
And that’s the way that the photographic life used to be. Shoot, pray, wait, mail order, wait, finally receive your images a week later. I can’t say that I prefer the process over the instant gratification of digital media, because I don’t; however, I will compare/contrast that statement as well. I do not think that the strategy that some current photographers employ is a terrific one either. I’m talking about the photographers who shoot 10 images from the same angle, post the batch to social media channels, without ever taking the time to sort through them, edit them, or give each image the love that it deserves.
Some people could stand to experience the shoot, pray, wait, mail order, wait process. That’s all I’m saying.
Having only shot with this camera a handful of times in the past, I’m anxious to see the results. Hopefully, at least one of the 24 images will be suitable for inclusion in this project of mine. Only time will tell, and—until then—I’ll just keep on shooting with my Super Fat, Black Slim Devil.
P.S. I know you’re curious, but too polite to ask. Yes, this is my most filthiest camera. For some unknown reason, the plastic casing has become sticky, thus attracting a million pieces of dust and dirt and lint from my flannel shirt. Hey, I think it adds character!