I need film photography to save my soul.
A lot of craziness has been happening in the world. More than usual it seems. COVID over here, race riots over there, the “new normal” and our slowly being forced into a new way of life. It’s overwhelming most of the time.
Right on the crest of this wave of insanity, I rode my little floaty through my own white wash of crap. Before all of this happened in January, I broke up with my long time partner of 10 years.
Without going on to long about it or getting into to much detail, I broke up with my partner right before Christmas. It was rough, and still is, I had spent ever day, day in and day out, with my partner and our roads just got to a point where they no longer went in the same direction. It was more my decision than it was hers, and we separated. While still remaining friends, I’ve felt somewhat a drift in life. Not sure where to go.
No, this isn’t my first break up mind you. I’ve been married and divorced and had other long term partners. What’s different about this one you ask?!? Well, I’m not gonna freak out.
See, in the past, I’ve not handled a lot of things well, it’s my own mind and my own doing, my own responses, but I don’t want to be like that anymore. Before all this happened I’d begun taking steps to better myself mentally. Meditating and yoga, which is been doing on and off for several years. I needed to change myself.
How was I going to do this? In the wave of darkness and pain I was feeling, that the world seemed to be feeling. How was I going to free myself? How was I not going to yell and scream my pain out?
I have to do what I’ve never done before. I have to throw myself into my photography and my own life. Instead of running away, I must run to my gifts. I have to hold onto these cameras and photos like it’s my life raft, because it is.
What steps, or doggy paddle strokes, have to taken toward reaching my unknown and unnamed goals?
A few things actually. I’ve bought all the supplies I needed for loading my own 35mm film, I had begun scanning all my negatives, almost 20 years worth, and adding them to a hard drive, the intention of making contact sheets and digital prints from the images. I’ve switched from using Shopify, a platform that didn’t work for me personally, back over to Etsy, where I’ve had more random sales than any other place.
Then, out of nowhere, a very amazing friend gifted me a Beseler 23C enlarger. I couldn’t believe it. Brandon has his own home set up and had a second enlarger he was going to set up but never got around to it. Knowing how much I love photography, film photography especially, he knew I’d appreciate the enlarger. I was floored!! This was the best most amazing gift I’d ever been given by someone.
I was already to go. Newly single, a new travel/surf van, some good quality gear at my side and a home darkroom. As I write this I feel I’m at the shore’s edge, waiting to jump in the surf.
So let’s jump in shall we?