Every year at Christmas I head back home to Honolulu to celebrate the season with my family. Not much changes here, and I'm honestly not a fan of sunny 80 degree weather (a true Seattleite) but I miss the local food and deep green mountains of Manoa Valley. I am especially grateful this year to return home because I've been uninspired by the last few rolls that I shot with my pinhole. Just before I left, I scanned in 5 rolls knowing I'd be far from my developing tanks, Epson scanner and beloved Panda Photo Lab in Seattle. I was hoping to edit the images on the plane ride over, but I was dissatisfied with every frame that I saw. I think I have some ideas why:
1. My negatives lack density. One week ago I tried making prints from my negatives and realized I'd gotten very lazy about checking the quality of my developed film. I had a difficult, trying day in the darkroom and was frustrated with myself. I spend too much time with the scanned image and not enough time really looking at my negatives.
2. Nice pictures don't cut it anymore. I think this is the toughest part for me as I start to realize a cohesive body of work. I have developed a stronger working concept which often leads to a higher rate of failure.
3. Lack of technical skill. I recently joined Adobe Creative Cloud and upgraded Photoshop from my previous CS3 to CS6. Yikes! My easy, comfortable workflow was obliterated by this new crazy looking interface, abundance of selection tools and a universe of options.
To help improve on both 1 and 3, I have purchased Ansel Adams 'The Negative' and a Photoshop CS6 handbook. I have also ordered a small light table for my home so I can closely inspect my film.
Meanwhile, I'm back in Honolulu on vacation from everything and enjoying taking pictures of whatever I want, however I want. It's fun driving around the island like a tourist, taking in the sights, setting up my pinhole camera and rediscovering old hangouts. Sometimes it's good to take a rest from it all. I was much better about putting the camera down for a week before I got my Zero Image pinhole camera.
Hope you and your family are looking forward to a wonderful holiday season! Enjoy delicious meals and sleep in late if you can. I look forward to sharing photos and viewing your work in 2013.