Monday, March 24, 2008


So, last week I had my 120 film from the trip processed. I was very, very excited to see the results. I hardly ever shoot film anymore and decided what better way to get back into it than a trip to Italy. The anticipation was intense. What would it look like? Would I love it? Would it be everything I was hoping?
Alas, my hopes were crushed when I got the film back and realized about 99% had camera shake. Bluriness is pretty normal for a holga, but double trees and double buildings--not so much. What went wrong?? I was totally bummed, but then reminded myself those holgas are full of trickiness and aren't suppose to always work. I rationalized it as camera error and felt semi-okay about the whole thing
Later, I was explaining my dilemma to Marianne, and she said I should check the bulb setting underneath the camera. Um, what?
The camera has about 3 settings and I forgot that the bulb one even existed. Oops. I never use it--out of mind, out of sight (lint incident anyone?). Plus it is hidden under the camera. That is a stupid place for an important camera setting slider thing.
I checked the next morning and yep, that is exactly what happened. It must have been bumped in the bag. The self-soothing I had been practicing all week was now irrevocably lost. Is there anything worse than it being all your very own fault?
I threw myself on the bed, waves of self pity overwhelming me. Thoughts of, I'm never going back to Italy, these were once-in-a-lifetime pictures, totally preventable, etc., etc, kept running through my head. Scott tried to get me to stand up for a hug, but moving from the bed was totally unthinkable. I was one sad puppy.
I had completely broken the fundamental rule of photography, which is understanding how your camera works. I was finally able to rouse myself with the reasoning that I do have over 5300 digital pictures. A comforting thought, but not quite enough to completely take me out of my funk.
I tried researching Photoshop, but apparently camera shake is the one unfixable thing. Forums I checked advised not to have blurry pictures in the first place; not so helpful.
Time does heal all wounds, and a space of 2 days has eased the sadness--or at least I am working on some perspective. Reviewing my holgas (all 120 pictures) I have about 8-10 clear images so it isn't a complete lost cause. Maybe I should take an artistic approach and think of some thoughtful way to combine my mistakes into a grand installation art piece?
My new motto is Live and Learn. I am now working on scanning my old holgas from my last Europe trip (2005), and this has helped some. I have also decided that I don't need to go to Italy to photograph film. I can do it right here--right in my very own backyard, or kitchen, or bathroom (but not when someone is going to the bathroom because that is gross).
~The end


Tara and Dan Stewart said...

How about italy next year?? You could make it an annual tradition :)

Shan & Andrew said...

I'm sorry about your camera- that's disappointing, but just think- you took some really AMAZING digital pictures! Seriously, they're beautiful! And you're so lucky to have gone to Italy!

Marianne said...

Sorry, Linds. But I cannot tell you how many times I have neglected to check the "bulb" and "normal" setting and have taken many rolls of film with the camera being on bulb. Each time I thought, "that shutter didn't sound right, oh well." *snap snap snap* Not until I get to the darkroom do I get angry and then throw my film away. Sigh.

_angela. said...

I kinda like the oout of focus ones. YOU SO ARTSY! Serious. Just repeat it and go.