A few weeks ago Bryan posted an article about personal projects for Out of Chicago and how important they are for us to learn, grow and have fun with our photography. I wanted to share a really fun and different project that involves collaborating with other photographers.
Film. Yes, film. It’s popular again, didn’t you know? All the kids are using it! Quite honestly I’ve never stopped shooting film, even after I got my DSLR six years ago. It keeps me in that back-to-basics, let’s not forget to slow down and think about what and why we are taking the images we are taking mode, which serves us well in our shooting in general.
A couple of years ago I was in an online photography project community working on assignments handed out by another photographer. It was fantastic. One day he posted a link to some images that he had shot with someone else, and by shot with someone else I mean literally, shot, rolled up the film, left enough film out so the second person could load it in their camera and shoot it again. We’re all familiar with double exposures right? This just takes that concept to a whole other level.
One film. Two photographers. Two subject matters. Two different views of the world. Two different geographic locations. The results can be magical, creepy, artistic and sometimes even unreal. He asked if anyone in the group wanted to give it a try, so I jumped at the chance. What a fun way to get the old AE-1 back out to play with.
Jake lives up near Seattle, camps and hikes the mountains and forests and is a wonderful photographer. He shot the roll first hoping that I would bring a bit of the city in my images, and I did. Betting on city images from me, Jake tried to show natural elements for his part of the images, focusing on the green forests near Seattle. For my part I had a little bit of theme in my head to use reflections as I thought that would add yet another dimension to the shots once combined.
This image is my favorite as I do not think it could have been planned any better. Jake’s son, my office blinds.
The Man made vs. Nature element in some of the images makes for an interesting juxtaposition.
You can see the rest of the Jake/Lauri Seeing Double project images on my website.
This was so much fun that one of the other participants in our community and I also decided to give it a try. Kelly Richards is a photographer based in the Orlando area and shoots almost exclusively film. We decided that we wanted to shoot black and white and chose Ilford XP2 400 for our project. This time I shot the roll first — a few images were shot downtown Chicago and the rest are from the Sandwich Fair this past summer. Here’s a favorite:
The rest of the Kelly/Lauri film can be seen on my website as well.
The processing/developing can be done by anyone who still processes film. Jake develops his own, Kelly took hers to a local camera shop. There is nothing special that needs to be done other than to let whoever is doing the developing know that it’s a double exposure film. The funny thing is, sometimes the frames line up as in the Jake-Lauri roll and sometimes they don’t quite as you can see in the roll Kelly and I shot.
Jake has also done several other Seeing Double projects with people from all over the world.
This project was really fun and something completely different than your typical 365 and weekly themed type projects. You never know what you are going to get and the anticipation is exciting. In fact, I have a color roll in my camera now waiting to be finished up to send back down to Kelly for another go at this.
If you shoot film and want to give it a try contact me here, or leave a comment below and either I’ll shoot a roll with you or I’ll recruit one of my friends to do it again. If you do this on your own with another photographer, please post your results and let me know; I’d love to see and share the results!