A film based sharing cultural photo project for 2013. 11 pics from 8 people making 88of8. 8 people from China and 8 people from UK. Comparing and contrasting life today. I send out an olympus trip loaded with 36exp B&W film. You shoot the roll and return the film to me here in Devon, England. You then reload the camera and await instructions as to where next it should be sent. It is a project involving a lot of trust but I am hopeful the results will out way the risks of losing my entire olympus trip collection. Anyway I want to try and do something photo project based to inspire my daughter who is doing A level photography in Exeter. She has agreed to assist me with developing the contact sheets and prints in our darkroom here at home. Will, in Shaghai, has agreed to develop the films from China and then forward the results.
It is now 21.21 GMT and I am about to develop my 88of8 roll of film. The film in question is Kodak B&W 400 36 exp. And will take 7 mins developer, 1 minute of water stop, 5 mins of Fix. A little spot of rinse aid at the last rinse of 10 in water will mean the negatives will take a little buffing. I loaded the film into the developing pot before supper and the more rolls I develop the better my ability to spool up film in the darkness. The anticipation is palpable.
Shot 1 should be a selfie. my shot was taken in my office. Looking into a mirror. Better probably to let a friend take a picture of you. The trip is so easy to use that anyone could do this job and take a nice shot of you. Not having to rely on a mirror gives you a little more scope to let your surroundings speak a little about who you see yourself!
Shot 2 where you live. The house is Rosemount, and it is the last one on the North side of Canada Hill in a sleepy old half of a village called Ogwell. We live on Ogwell Green, which I have often used as a nom de plume.
Shot 3 where I sleep. Over the years I think every room in Rosemount has been a bedroom for Gill and I. We are currently in the south facing front right room which has a stove and a lovely aspect. It has for the last 16 yrs been a lounge but since last week it is our bedroom. It is perfect.
Shot 4 friends. I don’t have many for sure, but the ones I do have I see so infrequently that any chance of capturing them on film is remote. They come to mind more than I would imagine in one context or another but such is my single minded ambition regarding my little company that there are never enough hours in the day to find the time to visit them. They must be in the same dilemma. One old friend Ian C I had not seen for a few years and I was horrified to hear that he was very very ill. He has since had a transplant and I hope he is doing well in recovery. For me sometimes chickens or ducks or my old dog Billy boy are my only companions. Garden decoration and fox takeaway all in one.
Shot 5 I will develop the film and see!
The Saturday had started slowly as it normally did. Lighting the stove in my office and preparing for a day trying not to work and pretty much always failing. However, the 6 nations rugby and a party later in the evening for Grace my 14 year old daughter who mean it wasn’t a totally uneventful day. I am not expecting any participant to be swimming the oceans or climbing mountains. 88of8 is a snapshot of your average weekend, that’s not to say timing it with social events is not a good thing! I would like to coordinate future 88of8 events which could be simultaneously done in many different countries at once.
5 mins of fix and we can open the pot and see if anything is there!
Gill is off to bed as it is now 21.52. Grace is on facebook, and Rosie is watching a TV programme about young people and difficult family living in the tougher areas of Manchester. The plague of reality, fly on the wall progudocumentray based programmes continues to swamp broadcast hours across the networks.
15 minutes or 11 photographs both exist as a social record. I would hope my pictures so something a lot more genuine in its unedited raw form. Not inserting jeopardy were none exists. Not making the ordinarily beautiful unrealistically ugly.
Saturday shots are watching the rugby and my feathered friends whilst Sunday was a road trip with my daughter Rosie who is taking A level photography. Her project meant chasing down folk of the woods and river rather than folk of the bricks and mortar. Devon to Devizes via Dawlish in a day.
The last 3 shots were today. My contact sheet will show much of my home life which is apt because that is where I am happiest. I am lucky indeed. I am hoping 88of8 will let others reveal a little of themselves on film.
The film looks odd as the developer or film itself has been exposed or underdeveloped, it is hard to say which is the cause. Using old out of date film is always a risky business and the results can be mixed. Only when seen through the enlarger lens will I know if the effect is pleasing or irritating! Rosie is the perfectionist and she would not be impressed. I however am pleased to see any images at all. Printing them when the film has dried will show me. I am hopeful and excited by the prospect of what I will find.
First as with all the films returned and developed I will print a single strip of negatives as a test strip, using 3 second intervals on the enlarger timer. I will then print a contact sheet using my old Patterson contact sheet printer or by hand, I have not really decided yet.
The time is now 22.22 and Rosie is almost off to bed. She leaves me discussing the difficulty of making the prints of boats and water taken on our road trip and I am left feeling pleased that my new hobbie and her genuine interest and flare for this subject has brought us closer together. I then think of Harold Fry and his make believe son and feel thankful for so much more.
Tommorrow I will have some results to place between the meandering lines of text. Each participant can write as little or as much as they like. They can describe every shot, every moment in great detail, or gloss over it all. Nobody can judge you or criticize your choices. Like meeting a stranger on a train. You are 11 images and with 7 others like you, you are 88of8.
Shot 1 – ‘the Self’
I took two but only one has revealed itself. The loner.
This appears as shot 0 on the film and looks like it maybe a good interesting looking selfie. Gill tells me I look a somewhat menacing!! I hope that potential participants will see the warmer elements in my façade.
SHOT 1 looks like a nice clear image and should print well. My house looks small compared to some, but vast compared to others. I am very happy here, and need to pinch myself at how lucky I am, every time I return home.
Shots 2 and 3 are taken inside without the aid of a flash so will be dark to begin with, however, the negative of 2 especially seems poorly developed or was bogus to begin with as this is ‘lomo’ B&W out of date ebay film and only by shooting another of the 9 rolls in the pack will I know otherwise.
Shots 4 and 5 are the last two on the first strip and show my garden and feathered friends.
This shot. Taken on iphone4, I call it ’ cloud balancer’
It is a selfie of me, balancing a small dolphin cloud, on my hat!!!
Holding my first 88of8 set of negatives.
A swift count through the now cut up film shows that I have 38½ shots from which I need to select 3. The first strip will take up 5/6
Then that leaves 6 to choose from the remainder
3 for you
3 for me
With 7 other people taking part in the UK this mean 88 shots from 8 people. 88of8.
Tonight I will print the contact sheet and maybe post it up on the blog.
Some are my office, Gill in her polytunnel and ending in a ‘shed party’ for Grace and her 30 friends.
Sunday shots are Rosie and I on aphotoshoot trip to Dawlish and then Devizes.
And finally home again to Ogwell.
20,22,27,14,8,10 are looking like the early contenders from an initial negatives inspection.
Each participant will be sent a copy of the contact sheet and asked to choose their 3 favourites. It is hard to see from a neg what prints will be best, a contact sheet will give more clues and can be a great print in itself.
If you would like to take part please email me through lomography.com or contact me