I have a “classic” photographic education — that is, I learned how to shoot with film, how to process film, and how to mess around with enlargers in the darkroom. For my high school memory book I listed “the smell of fixer” as one of my favorite things in the world. (If you know what fixer smells like, you should know that 1. it smells terrible, like something a cat would emit, and 2. that you are probably as enamored with the smell itself since the darkroom is such a magical place.) I used to shoot with an old Pentax SLR and a 50mm lens all throughout my high school years. Recently my father gave me a box of my old photographic equipment, and after storing it in a closet for a while, I decided to bring it out for a little bit of street shootin’.
Do you know how freeing it is to walk around with a camera that has one body, one lens, and a limited number of shots you can take? (And knowing that if someone mugs you, they end up with a $5 garage-sale camera instead of a kit that costs enough to buy a used car?) I love digital and its versatility, but sometimes the best thing is to go back to your roots. 36 frames. 50mm lens. T-Max 100 pushed to 400.
Here are some shots taken in and around Austin during SXSW (South by Southwest) in March this year (though not necessarily all downtown).
So what if these photos aren’t my strongest work, or that I didn’t do any processing on these (they’ve been scanned, and that’s about it)… They feel… honest? to me.