I finally took out my film Olympus rangefinder, loaded it with B&W Kodak film, and took some shots at a local community event. It definitely felt like taking a step back in time before technology took over. The most fun part was not being able to see my results right away and waiting for the film to get developed to see whether my photos even turned out. I was pleasantly surprised.
After a long hiatus, I'm finally finding more to get me excited about photography again. I have the cool gear, but after going on my last trip, it felt like everything here was just a little...uninteresting. And I wasn't looking at my surroundings with a different perspective. Last night, I was perusing the Apple app store, and came across "Instant". I LOVE it. It "takes" Polaroid-style photos (the app was developed by Polaroid) of your already existing digital photos. It's easy to use, and has different pre-sets or allows you to adjust a few settings to recreate that old Polaroid feel. A friend was taking pictures with a Fujifilm Instax camera at a party recently, and it reminded me of my dad's old Polaroid when I was growing up. I've been toying with the idea of picking one up for fun ever since. But in the meantime, I have Instant! For only $5 for the app, I highly recommend it.
# I think these are entreaties written on wooden plaques and hung from a tree #
# Bicycles hidden along a hutong in Beijing #
# Street scene in Shanghai #
I recently came back from a trip to Beijing and Shanghai, which was an eye-opening experience. It provided for a deeper insight into a culture that I have only understood from the outside. Little things we value (and take for granted) in the Western culture go completely unnoticed--such as preserving personal space and what we consider common courtesy. The underprivileged live in view of the upper class, though seemingly completely ignored. I could not help but be startled by the huge disparity between the haves and have-nots that was so readily apparent, with skyscrapers sometimes overlooking a neighborhood of dilapidated shacks across the street. Behind the veneer of rich historical sites, which truly are amazing (especially the Great Wall), is a society that is broken but possesses a great deal of perseverance. I may not support the government but coming face to face with the people during my brief trip there, I understand a little better the wonder that is China.
I'm disappointed in myself--I've already started to slack off on my commitment to taking pictures every week. I recently helped throw a bridal shower, which gave me an opportunity to do a little catch up, but in the end I chose to post a few pictures that highlighted the fun of bokeh--that out of focus area which can give a picture character. I sometimes wonder if it's a way of cheating, to make an otherwise uninteresting photo more compelling and mysterious. Either way, it has its time and place, whether my pictures are technically good or not, I still like the effect.