In an ideal world I wanted to share the beginnings of my 'domestic sublime' series, mainly because it is my most recent project and the thought processes are still 'live' in my head. However, the 5x4 contact sheets that arrived back today reflect more than a few errors which really undermines my confidence in them. The kind of errors include:
- double exposing: school boy error that was made firstly because of the time lag between the first and second round of exposures...easily done yet could be so easily avoided too if I get my systems sorted.
- forgetting to shift from f5.6 to f11 when I'm ready to shoot...I can't set the aperture straight to f11 as there is not enough light to compose the shot properly. So I widen the hole to f5.6 initially, compose the shot and then set the aperture after...well on several it looks like I haven't remembered to do this. But despite this, the exposure is there or there-abouts with all the images. So either my light metering is awry or perhaps Peak have worked their magic a little! Or I was lucky! Without the benefit of meta data it is difficult to be sure...I know, that is my cue to write notes!! Thing is, when I'm working with people/kids/animals, I don't have the luxury of time. I always feel rushed...I will just have to become more deft at it.
- on some, there is a white haze over part of the image...I am assuming that at some point I must have let in some light as it is not the whole image or on the edges.
You know what...I find it so damn difficult. It really makes the process much much harder using this camera. It's not that I don't enjoy it, but I do think the sporadic use of the camera plus the need for haste means I'm not methodical. And I do think a precise and orderly approach is fundamental. As I've said before, I'll keep going with it for this course, but unless they're going to be exhibited at metre rather than centimetre dimensions in a gallery I am wondering if this is the right approach. I would certainly derive more consistent results on the digital.
All in all I probably can salvage 7 images from the 14 exposures...not sooo bad, but equally they're not sooo good either...and not necessarily how I imagined them (but that's a different issue for another day). The next stage will be to send the negs that I want scanned back to Peak and then when they return, I will work on them and submit what I have for assignment one. I feel myself willing them to be better.
Cost to date, for the record: £106. Sheet film £56. c41 processing £31. Contact Sheets £19. Costs still to come: scanning and printing. I wince as I write this...unless I miraculously find an income stream I probably need to shelve the aspiration for Epstein size prints.
So going back to the Roger Ballen talk, sadly I think showing any images from this series is premature. So what should I do? I think I may decline the offer and see what others produce...I could consider some of the soc doc work, but am not sure. I feel a little intimidated by the whole thing if I'm honest. But as I doubt myself, I hear that braver voice inside telling me the greatest learning is when you're booted out of that comfort zone. And that's where I would find myself...this I guess illustrates my fears addressed in the 'putting it out there' post. And shows my dithering on such matters...I will let you know what I decide.