(and instant film is one of them)
unemployment is harder than i thought it would be.
i graduated from college in december, as you know if you've read this blog or have ever met me (and let's be real, the vast majority of you are here because you know me in real life and i linked to this blog post on facebook [hi mom]) and i don't have a job yet. i'm still relatively early in the search but one thing i've been struggling with in all of this is how to keep shooting (photos!).
most of my days are the same. i wake up very late (1pm), i take my dog for a walk, apply for three or four jobs, make some moody playlists on spotify, and then stay up until 4am playing video games and watching movies. repeat.
it's been unseasonably warm here in washington, dc. this past weekend it was 70 degrees and sunny the whole time. i had a few friends who were going to spend the day at the gardens at dumbarton oaks and invited me along. i grabbed my favorite camera and also a pack of my favorite film.
my favorite film is fuji fp100c. silk. fuji discontinued all iterations of pull-apart film last summer and i was distraught. i was even more distraught when i found out that silk existed. silk is maybe the most beautiful film that's ever existed. it's what i used to shoot one of my favorite series, huntington. unfortunately, silk was never released in the united states. it's difficult to find and mighty expensive.
there's a magical quality about silk. i've extolled the virtues of pull-apart film before. i love the unpredictability of it, the temporary-ness of instant film. but silk has something else. it has a deep and dark tonal range and a beyond-beautiful woven texture that makes you want to dive into every frame.
i think part of what i like so much about silk is how it makes photos look like photos. that might sound silly, but right now in photography there's a trend towards the hyper-real. photos that look very much like real life, even if they aren't. silk removes that. these photos are not real life, they are physical objects. tangible and fragile. they let you experience what's in the image as a viewer of an image, not as a participant in whatever's going on (sorry guys i've been reading a lot of susan sontag recently).
so. all that said. i hesitated in taking this film, this most beautiful thing, on a casual adventure with friends. but i'm glad i did.
i hadn't taken a photo i was really, truly pleased with since i graduated. not a single one. there are photos that i think are nice, that i don't mind. but not one that i'm excited about. i'm happy with these photos. i'm excited about them. it's been a long time since i shot silk and i had forgotten how beautifully the light plays off of the woven fibers. i had also forgotten how comfortable i am with it. how i know exactly how to expose a double-exposure, how wonderful it feels to warm the emulsion next to my skin, pull it apart, and have a beautiful thing that i made.
i have always been and will always be excited about photography, but this day of shooting reminded me why i love it so much. the spontaneity of it, the beauty of it, and how fucking cool it is.
and, because it's what i do with the majority of the time, here is a playlist for you. it's for when it's february but it's also 70 degrees and sunny and that's cool and you're happy about it but you also weren't totally ready for winter to be over and you just really miss the snow.