Courtney and I headed up to Monterey a few months back for a vacation. It was the first time we’d left Cameron by himself, but he really enjoyed a few days with auntie Kristen. The only camera we took was a lomo borrowed from Jonathan Roberts, which is a plastic camera made in Russia. I shot Ilford HP5 ISO 400 film.
It was an amazing vacation – Courtney and I had a lot of fun. A lot of these are from either Point Lobos State Park in Monterey (which is AMAZING in the morning light) or the Big Sur coastline, which we drove on the way back. The ones with Cameron in them are from a previous trip to Clovis.
We’ve gotten so used to perfectly sharp, crisp digital photos that seeing grainy, slightly out-of-focus photos from a russian toy camera are kinda different. There’s charm and character in grain, misfocus, and light leaks though. Don’t worry – I’m not going black and white and grainy and blurry for my commissioned work (maybe just a few here and there), but I love these. I think it’s because they look like my memories. The memories that I have are seldom sharp and fully detailed – they’re hazy works of art. We remember in pieces, never in completed images. I might remember how an event looked and forget the background, or I might catch a mind’s glimpse of the smile of my wife in the sun and remember nothing more.
Life isn’t digital – life is analog. Digital is something we invented to help us explain and understand the analog – it’s a necessary process of categorization that helps us understand a continuous world of shades of gray in which nothing is exactly like anything else. I think that’s why these are so attractive to me – they’re imperfect, but they look like the analog memories that I treasure so much.