Yesterday I was in a trashy mood! Well, not only yesterday, but for some time now I haven’t made a lot of photographs though I always carry a camera with me. Every morning I tell myself that during lunch hour I’ll take a stroll and shoot a roll of film, but every day at noon I find myself lazing behind my desk with a book or browsing the net…
But yesterday I had a kick!
I was at a conference with Jean-Christophe Béchet, french street photographer at the Rotondes here in Luxembourg. An event organised by the Luxembourg Street Photography Collective. During his conference I suddenly felt the overwhelming desire to hit the streets and make some photos… Merci Jean-Christophe!
His photography, at least the part he presented, just loosened something up within me. It made me realise that while I wanted to shoot and not doing it, I was on the wrong path. I might call it the equivalent of writer’s block, but I’d rather say it’s plain stupid laziness!
So the conference did not change my mood but it changed my actions! I decided not to stay after the speech – there was another slide show by the collective’s members and even a ‘free wall’ where I could have stuck up some of my photos. I preferred to follow my gut feeling and go out to shoot.
I had my XA2 with me, loaded as ever with HP5 and I strolled through some streets in one of Luxembourg City’s ‘darker’ quarters. I pushed the film to 800 ISO (if the XA2 had an option for 1600 or even 3200 I would have done it), and developed as ever in Rodinal, stand development of course.
Now Rodinal is apt to bring out the best (or worst) in HP5 and produces wonderfully grainy photos. Dark, moody and grainy, just as I like them so often.
Then again my trashy mood made me scan EACH negative, not just the well exposed and sharp ones. And among the technically bad ones I found one or two that are pleasing… relatively.
For once I have used flash in most of the exposures. Well, just the tiny one-battery-powered flash that goes with the XA2. Takes ages to recharge after each shot, but it did it’s job.
My subject? Trashy, and trash…. Roadworks, silly roadsigns – slices of a quarter in the middle of a renovation and building spree.
No people, no public buildings…. I don’t want to end up in jail 😉 (see here for explanations). Just tightly framed excerpts of a city. Urban slices, so to say.
I don’t know for you, but I like this style. But then again I like other strange things many people hate. So that’s no expert opinion.
Anyways, as I was scanning this roll of film I thought this might be a way to go for my photography. I like textures, I like objects in relation to their surroundings and strange juxtapositions… no nice shiny pictures for me! And this is interesting, to me at least.
I will even put the whole scanned roll in the Gallery section, not that I’m proud of every photo, but just to show that sometimes even the less perfect photos have something to tell.
I hope you saw some things you liked in here and as always, thanks for passing by!
And merci encore, Jean-Christophe Béchet and Luxembourg Street Photography, though you won’t probably notice what you did for me!