Monday, September 19

a pocketful of silver dollars


self-portrait, gimmelwald, switzerland, in the bathroom mirror, 2005

Sometimes when I take a photograph I'm so excited I almost feel like I'm going to hyperventilate. I've been thinking about instant film and 35mm film and digital film. And in the way of the interweb, found myself on this page where andrea explains things so well.

There is just something about film that digital will never have. Film exists in real time, with a tangible physicality that digital lacks. The weight of the camera, the smell of the film unrolling, the satisfying click as the shutter opens ~ heavy sounding like the catch on an engraved locket or a pocketful of silver dollars. The waiting and uncertainty and expectation of getting the film developed.

I spent three days in new york city last week, leaving my digital and polaroid cameras at home. I brought my old Canon and 35mm film, just like I used to do when I was a teenager on a road trip, or a twenty-something studying abroad and catching trains. It is like an old friend with its own ways and peculiarities.

The bus dropped me off at 34th and 8th and I took the metro down to the west village. I wandered in the diamond sunshine and crisp air, dropping into shops as they took my fancy. Exploring streets with a map folded up in my back pocket. Watching cupcakes being frosted through the Magnolia bakery window. Meeting up with a friend and walking in the rain-showers and talking. The wildflower meadows near the glacial rocks in central park, the heat of the sidewalks and cool pockets of the subway cars, tree leaves bright against the buildings like polly apfelbaum installations. People-watching and occasionally, not very often, taking a photo, the unexposed photographs carried like furled buds in a slowly collected bouquet.