Have you ever hit a creative block? I think most creators can relate. Our ideas get dull with too much use, like a pencil that needs to sharpened. That’s where I am with photography.
I used to sustain my photo hobby by shooting portraits for a small network of family and friends. Those shoots were a lot of fun, but over time my approach became less creative, and more routine. Instead of experimenting and pushing myself, I was sticking to a predictable formula.
To bust out of the comfort zone, I’ve decided to work on a photo zine. My goal is to bridge photography’s past and future. I’ll start with 35mm film, and end with Web3 digital publishing. I want to force myself into a learning mindset. This 3rd Web Creator blog will be an outlet to apply, and share what I learn.
Why film? Loading up a film camera reminds me of a time when shooting photos was just for fun. My photography journey started as a young kid when I got a 35mm point-and-shoot as a Christmas gift. Back then I never thought about making an image. I just liked taking pictures. I’m so glad there was no delete button back then. The grainy images were full of mistakes and imperfections. There were exposure problems. The focus was soft. The colors were muted and creamy. But now those first snapshots are cherished memories. Looking at the prints gets me feeling nostalgic about film.
Years later I got a digital camera, and kicked off a highly experimental period of trial and error. I remember the rainy evening when I made the images above. The lights, colors and reflections kept me glued to this window facing the street. I sat there and shot 15-second exposures over and over, trying to catch light trails from passing cars.
Now that I have a bit more skill (and a lot better gear), I wonder what I could make if I got back into that experimental headspace. Publishing a digital zine seems like a good way to try. And using Web3 technology will help me build new skills for the future. I love the idea of a printed zine, but there’s new territory to explore in the realm of blockchains and decentralized storage systems.
In the end, it’s all about sustaining a creative practice. If shooting on film helps, great. If a blockchain can help distribute the work, that’s great too. Either way, from film scans to NFTs, I will share what I learn here. Thanks for checking it out.