A wonder I can think at all

Not so very long ago I did something I had never done before in my life. I created an account and… bought something off ebay. More in particular, I bought an old Polaroid Land Camera 210. I had been yearning for one of these land cameras for a long time and I just ran out of patience. Then I saw this one. Patiently I waited until the last minute to bid on it and yay! I got it! It’s actually pretty exciting waiting there, hoping no one else will snap it away in the very last second. I mean, I really wanted it! I would have been heartbroken had someone come along and taken it away from me. Honestly, I don’t know what I would have done. It probably would have involved me tracking down the buyer, sitting outside his house in my car spying on him with my night goggles…But I digress.

After I had ‘won’ it, there was more excitement to come! Will it arrive? Whén will it arrive? Will it arrive in one piece? Luckily for my blood pressure, the polaroid was sent quickly and it arrived at my home within a couple of days. Hours and ten layers of gaffer tape later (boy that seller really made me work for it), I inhaled the sweet smell of a 45 year old camera. Which smells a bit like attic. Okay, a lot.

Anyhow, the adventure just kept on coming in, as I put in a pack of fujifilm and asked (well, ordered) my boyfriend to pose for me.  Taking the picture itself (getting my boyfriend’s head to fit between two lines, whilst keeping an eye on the little squares that mark what will actually be on the picture), was peanuts! In comparison with getting the film in and out. But that wasn’t the worst part – the worst part is I’m an idiot. In all my enthusiasm I had forgotten to check the battery compartment, which turned out to be empty and above all completely corroded. Luckily the people at my photo store knew how to fix it and now, weeks after I purchased the thing: voila! A picture!

I guess the moral of this story is: even instant film can take a while when you’re an idiot. True, things didn’t exactly go smoothly for me, but now I’m damn happy I got it, and it’s working. More polaroids to follow.

PS: In my defense, the Mamiya I use to shoot most of my analog photos with, doesn’t even need a battery. You can see where I went wrong.

Darling you don’t know

Moving on to the analog photos of my shoot with Charlotte. I made several more but I feel they don’t really go together. This is due to the fact that I was shooting in different settings, for example a path nearby with trees on the side, which I liked. But I must learn to contain myself and not be all over the place. I should probably pick one location and try several things there to make for better series.

Anyways, here are my two favorites. The first one was actually the last one, since the rain came pouring down after I took it. Then we had to run all the way to the other side of the park to find shelter underneath some trees. Ah.. Shooting outside in Belgium, always an adventure.

charlotte-jill-models-by-els-vanopstal

charlotte-jill-models-by-els-vanopstal

Credits
Model: Charlotte @ Jill Models
MUA: Kathleen Van Walle
© Els Vanopstal

One more second and I almost

Alright! Time to get this blog back on track. Lets start by posting some digitals, that’s been a while. I really have a strange relationship with digital ever since I started shooting film. As I said before, it’s so clean, perfect – too perfect. Film just feels more ‘real’ to me. As if it is more capable of capturing true emotion.

But I admit: this may also have to do with how my shooting style changes. When I shoot film, I take it slowly, look down in the camera from a distance, try and get everything perfect – composition, light, the model’s pose and expression; while with digital I shoot more rapidly, trying to catch the perfect moment as it passes by. A film shot is more controlled, more thought over, but also more intense and perhaps therefor harder on the model because it takes a while before I ‘make’ the shot.

And perhaps that is it. I ‘make’ film photos, and I ‘take’ digitals. Sometimes digital can catch a moment I couldn’t have gotten on film. Just the littlest smile, a sudden glisten in the eyes – I could miss all these things looking down into the focussing screen of the mamiya trying to fix the composition. You cannot recreate these little moments. They float by and if you don’t grab them, they’re gone forever.

But both film and digital have their own moments. The trick is learning from their differences and trying to balance taking and making in order to create ‘le moment suprême’. The one split second we’re all waiting for. For everything to just fall into place.

Anyway, that’s enough rambling for tonight. I have a feeling this probably won’t make any sense anymore in the morning so… Here are some photos of Charlotte to wish you goodnight.

Credits
Model: Charlotte @ Jill Models
MUA: Kathleen Van Walle
© Els Vanopstal