You start to realize you might be serious about something when you're willing to put down whatever you truly love to do in order to obtain or complete whatever your goal is.
I sort of hit that wall today.
I have a ridiculous love for all things photographical. I love old cameras and new cameras. I love plastic and metal and digital and analog (really I love the film cameras more, they seem 'warmer' somehow), twin lens or SLR... they're all beautiful. And of course, everyone's seen me whine about not being able to get my hands on glitzy Korean pieces of plastic. Which, btw, I'm embarassed to say I had no 35 mm film on hand to shoot with, unless I wanted to blow my redscale. I may do that very thing just to see how it goes since there's nothing else, and I'm buying no more new.
That's right... for the time being there's no more photography. At least... none with film.
When I calculated up what it would cost to get the various rolls of film processed that I have already shot over the course of a year and some months of owning my various beauties, I about fainted. Yes, it's an expensive hobby. It's also a good argument for ONLY shooting black and white, since I could buy the chemicals and develop it myself. Then I would only be sending out the color shots, and that would save me quite a bit of money. I am, thus far, really loving the glorious tones of the b&w film inside a holga. The diana? Dunno. She hasn't really had a chance to wow me, since I haven't gotten any of her film developed. She's for next month. I'd be lying if I didn't say I was excited to see how she went through her paces.
But at this point I realized that this would represent a sizable investment of money... either in setting up a darkroom and getting chemicals, or in sending all of my film off to Oregon, to the only place I really trust with my 120 and 110 format film right now. we're actually talking probably upwards of $500 all told, no matter which route I go. and really we just do not have that kind of money for what is basically a hobby of mine.
Trust me, I harbor no illusions anymore of becoming a famous photojournalist and finding elusive animals in the Amazon for National Geographic. I'm not that girl. As much as I'd love the trip to the Amazon I don't have the equipment or the experience, and frankly I'm having a hard enough time just getting my degree in programming. I don't need to try and pick up a second occupation right now! Especially not one that would involve such massive expense up front. I am, as always, an adoring amateur with a love for the painting of light on film. I will never be in a warzone smoking cigarettes and swearing with the troops and locals, or following the aftermath of natural disasters. If anything I'll have a showing or two of my very best items, and then once out of my system, I'll move on. Simply enough.
I have in my possession only a few more rolls of film. My Holga is loaded up with a roll of Fuji Velvia 100 speed film, known for it's love of sinking color deep down in to the chemical layers of its celluloid body. I have another single roll of Fuji Velvia that is still pristine in it's foil packaging. In our fridge's vegetable drawer I have 3-4 rolls of IR film for an experiment that I won't get to try (Needed a 52mm IR refractive lens for the Holga, no money for that right now) at least for the next several months, and I have a backlog of 110 film for my little iKimono, say 4-5 rolls. They last longer, being that they have 24 shots to the roll, and therefore will last me longer... if I were to continue shooting.
See, here's the thing. We can either save for a house and get out of this place that has toilets that run constantly after you flush, linoleum peeling up from the edges, paint cracking and peeling off the walls and light fixtures falling from the ceilings (literally, the one in the bathroom has been fixed twice now and continues to want to succumb to gravity), or I can get my film developed, have lots of stupid bottles of ink and art supplies and piles of yarn I can't knit fast enough to get through... etc. But the photography thing is big right now, since the thought of knitting mittens and sweaters seems somewhat laughable in light of the EIGHTY EIGHT DEGRE WEATHER today. That and we're about to take off for a lot of our expected fun things we do in the spring and summer. Cherry Blossom Festival. Wine and Jazz Festival. Celtic Fling - although this year we've decided we've had enough of that.
Some of my first lomography images came out of a trip to Longwood Gardens, at the very Wine and Jazz festival that we'll be headed to in May. If I had to actually NOT take photos while there, I seriously don't know what I'd do with myself. Exaggerated reaction, perhaps. But I am always looking around and seeing moments that want for the capturing. Sometimes the camera on my cell phone can do the deed. But sometimes you just need the soft focus of a plastic lens to catch the feeling of the day.
I know I can take good photos with my cellphone, as I've rendered some beautiful ones. In fact, I'm pretty damned good at this point gauging an image and the light, so I'm not entirely devoid of the ability to take photographs. Just film. And just for now, because there's already an immense backlog on what I've taken vs. what I've gotten developed, I'm stopping.
I need to be able to walk my dog and not look out for every else's dog crap they didn't pick up. I'd like to not encounter cigarette butts from the little teenage jerks that come to the side of our house and smoke, then toss their butts on the ground. I'd like to let him go outside and play in the sunshine in a backyard big enough for him to run back and forth in and play fetch.
I want a room that's dedicated to all the craft junk I have, so I can get it out of the mix of various places it is around this house. And a room to have guests in to enjoy a meal. I want a neighborhood with lots of kids to hand candy out at Halloween, and with trees to decorate with lights in the winter for Xmas. I want to be able to paint the walls and feel free to hang artwoork everywhere without thinking about losing a deposit of some sort! And if a section of the floor is destroyed by pets and mold, I want to actually be able to tear it up and replace it instead of having to sit and suffer for 6 months breathing the funk when one got near it.
This is a worthwhile goal. Not to have a place to live, we already have that. I'm gunning for a home. Somewhere that I can't wait to come home to in the evenings from my job doing something awesome.
I haven't purchased art supplies since we grabbed the Chinese watercolors in Chinatown, Boston. The reason i did that was so i could fulfill my promise to Bob to paint him a beautiful ink and watercolor landscape in Chinese style, with the idea that it would be hung in our new home. I am content to not touch anything else or ask for anything else for now. I would rather have the inspiration strike me as I look at the wall the new artwork will go on. I can wait for that.
As far as yarn, my other weakness, goes? I noted yesterday that my favorite seller has the very, very rare yak and bamboo yarn back in stock. Twenty dollars. It took all of my will power not to buy it, as it's super soft and I've been wanting to create a pair of very comfy "house socks" out of what I have, but don't have enough. Nope. It'll wait. $20 is a gasket and some hardware for something in a house. $20 is a new light fixture. Perhaps I shall ask for it for my birthday from my mother, who knows I have a yarnlust that can be huge. HOWEVER... I have been good. I haven't purchased any lately. Because I'd rather have a house with a fireplace to knit next to than be knitting a sweater to keep warm in this same place.
Ugh. Being an adult can rankle sometimes. This, however, is truly worth it. I'm okay with putting the cameras down for a bit.
It'll be damned hard not to blow that last roll of Velvia in the Big Apple next week, though, when we go to look at the Tim Burton exhibit. *SIGH*