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Monday Moodboard: 'One System, One Film' Challenge

Do you know by heart all the tricks and wonders that your beloved analogue beauties can do? Yes? Well, though it shames me, I must admit that I don't.

During the weekend, while trying to fuse together a bunch of ideas floating in my head for days, I turned to the bunch of books and magazines on my bedside to get further inspired. Then, I browsed around the web and eventually came across an old post by Bellamy of Japan Camera Hunter about beating the blues and getting back to shooting.

I’ve had times of being stuck in a photography rut and it was particularly worst in the past year. I started to get un-stuck early this year, thanks to that trip I planned for my birthday. But after the travel high wore off, I realized that I am still not totally happy with most of my work. I feel that there’s something I still haven’t mastered yet. Is it my personal style that I haven’t established yet? Highly likely. Is it the way I shoot with films I usually use that I have to work on? I have to look into that, too. Or, maybe, I just don’t really know each of my cameras by heart.

Ouch. I think that’s it.

Over the years, I’ve acquired more film cameras than I thought I’d ever have, and while I don’t regret getting them, I now feel that I should at least find the time to master each of them. Only then will I probably know how to work with them confidently for the right project, occasion, or opportunity.

So, here’s where the so-called "one system, one film’ challenge comes into the picture. “No matter what you shoot with, it is better to stick with one thing when you are shooting a project,” says Bellamy in the post mentioned above, then also adds that he has only been using one camera, one lens, and one type of film for his personal work for about a year now. While I’m not sure if that’s something I’m ready to do, I think going “one system, one film” for a month would be a good way to ease myself into this concept. Starting with the Diana Multi-Pinhole Operator this month in time for World Pinhole Photography Day on the 27th.

How about you — have you tried this concept/challenge? I’d love to learn about your thoughts on this!

written by plasticpopsicle

7 comments

  1. sweetyyydreams

    sweetyyydreams

    I feel exactly the same way, about mastering my cameras. I read about this idea of sticking one year with only one camera and/or film but I'm too instable in my thoughts and ideas to be able to commit on only one thing that long. I've been thinking in January to try to commit to a project to shoot each month with one camera, but obviously haven't succeeded yet! But I know I should really get to know better each of my cameras, and therefore try to force myself to do this kind of project, it would be so interesting and enable me to improve myself.

    7 months ago · report as spam
  2. plasticpopsicle

    plasticpopsicle

    @sweetyyydreams I think I'm often unstable about my ideas and approaches as well, and so this concept would really be a challenge for me! Let's give it a try and see how it goes, shall we? :D

    7 months ago · report as spam
  3. sweetyyydreams

    sweetyyydreams

    @plasticpopsicle Yes let's give it a try! I'm waiting for my recently purchased Rolleiflex to be checked and repaired, so it would be a good camera to start this project/challenge with!

    7 months ago · report as spam
  4. clownshoes

    clownshoes

    One camera sure! One film sure! But one lens? It's still a great idea and it will help you obtain an over all 'look' to your photos. Got to keep shooting!

    6 months ago · report as spam
  5. plasticpopsicle

    plasticpopsicle

    Thanks for your input, @clownshoes! I think I have no choice at this point but to stick with one lens as well because I still only have 50mm lenses for both my Nikon FE2 and Canon AE-1 Program. Fine by me since I'm pretty much used to 50mm anyway!

    6 months ago · report as spam
  6. clownshoes

    clownshoes

    @plasticpopsicle Can't beat a 50mm on 35mm!

    6 months ago · report as spam
  7. blakeisart

    blakeisart

    I have been doing this for a while without thinking of it as a "challenge." Once I started using my Polaroid Land Camera 340 I didn't want to touch anything else. Check out the results on my Instagram feed. It is all done using one camera and one film. www.instagram.com/blakeisart
    6 months ago · report as spam