jueves, 24 de mayo de 2012

The Soul of Istanbul and my therapy for failure

Hi everyone,

I've decided to write some of my blog entries in english to be able to reach more people. I'm not sure if I will translate the entries to spanish as well. Please excuse my mistakes since english is not my mother tongue. I will try my best.

I went to Istanbul on vacation during the eastern holidays and I grabbed my Canon AE-1 which was lent to me recently and put a sigma 28mm lens on it. The only problem was that the aperture preview button was pressed when I put the lens and every single photo I took with that camera was exposed with f2.8 no matter what. This had 2 consequences:

1. Everything was out of focus.
2. Everything was absurdly overexposed.

Going to pick up your negatives is one of the most exciting experiences because it is always like christmas, but it can be very disappointing. Imagine my face when I saw all the negatives almost black and out of focus. The first thing I thought was: "I'm an idiot, if had used a digital camera non of this would have happened". But after couple of seconds my anger started to fade and it let space for relief. I was surprisingly happy. I managed to go out of my comfort zone and take photos of people with a 28mm lens in front of their faces and had so much fun. No one can take that away. If zen master had known photography I'm sure they'd have used it for teaching.

What film photography has taught me:

1. Mistakes happen, learn from them

Thats it. Identify what when wrong so that you don't lose your confidence. In my case was identifying that I left the aperture preview button pressed. I now do a quick check on my camera before loading the film to ensure everything is in place.

2. Focus on what you got and what you learned, not on what you missed and what you failed to understand

Stay positive, it's like a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you go out there feeling happy with what you are doing, good things will happen to you because of your aura. Don't be too hard on yourself. Focus on just one thing you want to change at a time and work on that. If you work one by one, maybe after a year you have fixed 12 things you wanted to change.

When you start developing your own negatives this becomes extremely important. If your results aren't good enough you should keep all your variables constant except for one. In this way you will get the desired results with less frustration.

3. Less is more

Less pictures, less garbage, more time, more takers.

4. Staying consistent and coherent

After a trying a lot of different types of film I finally narrowed it down to two of them:
Kodak Portra 400 for color and Kodak TMAX 400 for black and white. Having a similar look on all my pictures allows me to develop my narrative style without having to worry about post-processing.

5. Never give up

I think there is not much to add here :D.

And now, finally the few picture that survived the aperture preview button armageddon.

3 comentarios:

Eloy Gómez (AKA Kowska) dijo...

La ultima me encanta. en serio.

Hay otras, pero la ultima...

Eduardo Escartí dijo...

Vaya, no me había dado cuenta de que le había puesto mal las dimensiones y salía deformada :S. Gracias por pasar y comentar Eloy. Siempre son un placer tus visitas. A ver cuando quedamos en Benidorm otra vez.

Alexandre Miguel Maia dijo...

Very wise words Eduardo. Thanks for sharing your experience even though you where disappointed with the results.I totally share your perspectives.
Still nice shots by the way.

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