My Vacation from Instant Gratification

Photographing in Reflected light @ Coyote Buttes South

It has been nearly a year since I began my vacation from instant gratification. What all does this mean? It was a year ago that I became disenchanted with digital. In an age when everyone has a camera, and everyone is a photographer, I had to do something different if I was to have any chance at making a living at photography.

This time last year, I purchased a Toyo 4×5 large format camera and two lenses. I practiced with it for several months before a photography trip in early 2009. Ever since then, I have been hooked.

So what is my current status regarding photography? Nothing has changed. I am still far more comfortable with the operation of my 4×5 and 8×10 cameras than I ever was with digital. I don’t miss digital the slightest bit.

My justification is simple. If I spend the time, effort, and money getting to a beautiful location, I want to walk away knowing that I have captured the highest quality image possible. I have that feeling with every click of the shutter on my large format cameras.

It is much more difficult shooting large format, but there is a bright side. The effort is worthwhile when I nail a shot.

I enjoy the simplicity of large format. The camera has no batteries, computer chips, or processors. It is just me, the camera, and the subject. When combined with the unmistakable click of a copal 3 shutter, the smell of leather bellows mixed with stained mahogany is as addictive as the most potent drug.

Prior to my full transition to film, I signed up for a major art festival here in San Diego. I had 5 months to produce a handful of new prints that I was proud of. I assumed that these prints would all be digitally based. I was wrong. Every print I showed was taken with large format. In the past year, I have produced more keeper shots than I have in the 5 years prior to my switch to film.

The pressure of having to create new photographic prints for that show, combined with a new photographic tool, was the perfect kick in the rear to motivate me.

I will be participating in ArtWalk again on April 24th and 25th of 2010. This time, I have requested a larger booth with more space to display my photography. The pressure is on again! I have space to display 3 more images. I already have two of those images selected. The last photo has yet to be captured. I have between now and then to find that image.

I had an excellent reaction to my photos at the past several shows. I find this to be very encouraging. I am hoping to generate some print sales from this upcoming show.  I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

I have big dreams of leasing a space to display my photos and conduct photography workshops. If things keep progressing, that might just become a reality. It would be fantastic to support myself full time based on something that I enjoy so much.

Thank you everyone for your support!

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