It’s easy to get bored isn’t it?
I know I’ll pick up a camera or my phone or recording device I have at hand and I just stare at it, I’m kind of bored and not really sure what to do.
I’ve talked to all sorts of people and read all sorts of online people talk about what works for them, but it always seems to be about the same as someone giving me detailed instructions about how to get rid of the hiccups. I’ve held my breath, been scared, hung off a bed/couch upside down and sipped water, none of these things ever worked, they eventually went away by themselves.
The creative block of being bored is about the same sort of thing. I’ve been told to pick up a new camera or something I haven’t used in a while and use that (doesn’t work ) I’ve been told to take a walk and every 10 feet to make a photograph ( doesn’t work but it attracted people asking me every 10 feet “what are you doing, what are you taking photographs of, are you going to rob my house” &c ) (doesn’t work). I’ve done camera less stuff (doesn’t work) chemical prints (doesn’t work) scanograms and Xerox art ( doesn’t work ). Eventually I get a little less bored and I just decide to do something else.
These days I’ve been a little bored, I’ll do a little something here or there, but mostly what I have been doing is searching through my hard drive to find a photograph a friend was interested in but I couldn’t find it anywhere. I found some other prints though, things that hadn’t seen the light of day since I made them the last time I decided.
If you have poked around in this lazy blog ( the blog isn’t really lazy but I’ve had it for 10 years probably and I am not very good at posting to it, I’ve posted maybe 3 times in the past week or 2 so I’m a little less-lazy these days ) .. you might have seen that sometimes I’ll expose my 4×5 film so it is “bulletproof”.
Bulletproof means different things to different people. To some it means they have a nice dense negative that prints great, for me it’s different than that. Back in 2008 I spent time in my father in law’s laundry room and developed some 4×5 sheet film with him. The moon was shining through the dim ground floor window. I used coffee purchased at the local grocery store, Vit c and Sodium Carbonate from the local pharmacy and I shuffled the film for between 10 and 12 minutes. I hung them in the garage to dry overnight and they were so dense the film looked like 4×5′ black rectangles, they were bulletproof.
When I returned home I shined a bright light through the film and could barely see the images. I contact printed them on RC paper using the 300Wbulb I have dangling between 2 enlargers that I usually use for printing AZO paper. The exposures were about 15 or 20 seconds on RC paper. The film made some great photographs
I continued to develop film like this whenever I could. The film I discovered in the hard drive was Kodak Royal Pan 1250, I didn’t even know Kodak made a fast film like that but that’s what it was. I exposed it in a speed graphic wandering around the streets of Providence together with some E100 a friend sent me. When I returned I developed it all together, the E100 and the Royal Pan. I contact printed what I could and scanned the images and forgot about them.
The I decided to work on them a little bit and take a little time off from the usual bad news on TV and radio. It was a nice escape, and I wasn’t bored.