Beauty is Memory.

Kodak Portra 400

Kodak Portra 400

2014. I got a film camera. Analog. Its just a side thing, but it made me realise a lot about the way I think. I guess to an extent you could say I wanted to prove to myself I know what I'm doing, photographically speaking. Shooting manual exposures and waiting to see the results, whether its perfect or a disaster. It started as anyone with any new camera starts, clicking and checking and hoping the picture turns out great. Except this time the anticipation lasts longer, and you pay for it. What I mean? You can't just take a photograph of something and look at the back and delete and repeat and delete and change settings and repeat and etc. You take a photograph and you wait, pay to get it developed and hope it turns out like what you wanted it to look like. 2016. It was almost like a rush for me, like a game of timed sudoku. Will my manually set exposures be perfect? There are 36 pictures in most rolls of film - of each 36 exposures I loved only 10. I mastered the manual mode of an analog camera but I can't remember the photos. Why? 

 

A street between lives. Old Town, Dubrovnik. Film. #35mm

A street between lives. Old Town, Dubrovnik. Film. #35mm

 

 

It got me thinking. I'm missing the point. We're a generation of digital photographers. Most people have a camera. And everyone has a phone. You can take a picture, delete, repeat, and etc. We've not only lost the art but we've all lost the point. Photographs used to immortalise moments in time and they no longer do. Is it because we don't care enough and the results are immediately available to assess and redo? Is it because we have so many pictures of the exact pose or scene from which we can choose?

Some people in a cafe. A cold day in Paris. St. Germaine. Film. #35mm

Some people in a cafe. A cold day in Paris. St. Germaine. Film. #35mm

Swans. Regents Park. London. Film. #35mm

Swans. Regents Park. London. Film. #35mm

2017. I hit restart. And then two weeks ago someone asked me what beauty is to me. Sometimes things get pieced together and you can't help but wonder why it's taken so long to figure out. There's beauty in so many people and so many places but what was it? I found beauty in my photographs. I found beauty in my decisions. I found beauty in the desire to capture any given thing. And then it hit me - beauty is memory. And memory is the photographs we choose to take, the ones we choose to remember. The ones we consciously and emotionally immortalise into a small rectangle. I found the lost meaning of beauty in a dying medium, in waiting for 36 pictures, in choosing what detail of what city of what street of I want to keep forever. This is just an introduction of what I find beautiful. And why.  

Imaan. London. Film. #35mm

Imaan. London. Film. #35mm

Sacre-Cour. Paris. Film. #35mm

Sacre-Cour. Paris. Film. #35mm