I just finished loading a few rolls of HP5+ that I shot using my Mamiya RB67. If you're not familiar with it, the RB67 is a medium format film SLR that weighs as much as a brick; could probably stand in for one in a pinch. I shot this film over the course of a few weeks. Things have been hectic and I haven't had the chance to shoot or develop as much as I'd like. Such is the struggle of a film enthusiast with a career in IT and a future photographer who's just taught himself to crawl.
As crazy as things get in life, there's something about the film photography process that calms it all down. Out in the field, medium and large format photography both make for very contemplative shooting; you really become in-tune with your surroundings and learn to slow down and appreciate the moment. There's also much to be said about the delayed gratification inherent in the film process. It teaches you to see the photo in your mind before you make an exposure. It will be some time before you see the outcome, but if you've followed your process you know what to expect.
Back in the darkroom, you sit there in pitch blackness performing relatively complex tasks without the aid of your eyes. It can be frustrating when things don't go as smoothly as you'd like, but it doesn't have to be. It's all a part of the process. You sit there in the dark and let your hands take over while your mind roams free. Eventually, you end up with a new sense of calm and a tank full of film waiting for development. That's where I am now. I can't wait to see my photos!
I'm still not fully sure what I'll write about in my future posts, but one thing I intend to do is to drill down into my process. I'll discuss what makes me want to stop and take a photo, the cameras and supporting equipment I use, my developing and printing process, and where I stand on various topics related to film photography. It's an ongoing journey and the more I learn, the more I realize that I don't really know anything at all. Researching topics for this blog that I thought I knew well has been particularly illuminating in this regard!