Week 5 Photographers Choice - Black And White Instax

Often having constrains provides the opportunity for greater creative achievement than having limitless freedom.  The challenge this week provided no constraints.  I could do whatever I wanted.  I decided to try and provide some limits of my own.  Last Christmas I got a Fuji Instax Wide camera.  I love the big instant photos it produces and I love the vibrant colors of those prints.  Recently Fuji announced a black and white version of their film.  I got a packet of the black and white film for Christmas.  I took a couple of test shots and LOVED the tones it produces.

Test shot of Sammie eating dinner.

I went online and bought several more packages of the new film.  I knew that I was going to use this new film for this weeks challenge.  I had the opportunity Saturday afternoon to go head over to  Kubota Gardens (it's a favorite location of mine for obvious reasons). I thought today would be a really great challenge.  Can I capture the beauty of the gardens on a dreary and drizzly day on instant black and white film?

As I started shooting I realized that it was dark, really dark.  This film does best on a brightly lit sunny day.  Today was not that day.  To make sure that my subject was going to standout from the background either the subject was going to have to be light and the background bright or vice versa. Many of the photos just came out way too dark and you couldn't tell what it was a photo of.  For the ones that did work they were magical.

The thing about instant film unlike regular film, let alone digital, is that they are one time event.  Never will another photo like it be taken.  There's only one of them.  Not only are they once they are a physical thing.  You can hold them in your hand.  The lament with digital is that while we are able tot take more photos more easily they mostly end up living in our hard drives never to be printed out.  Instant photos are only physical the challenge is how to share them digitally.

I did some research on how to digitize the photos.  I found a good blog post on how to scan them using a scanner.  While I have a printer/scanner that would do a decent job I opted not to go down that path.  I wanted to show that these were physical objects in the real world.  Since I have a camera, tripod, and a diffuser I opted to use those.

My film "scanning" setup.

Admittedly there were still some reflections and uneven light with this setup. I think overall it worked out since this week I've decided to embrace the limitations of this format.

It was a fun week and a fun challenge.  Sadly there were some photos that didn't translate well to being digitized and look much better in person.  I'm okay with that though.  It's a fun format to play around with and when you can figure out what you're doing and you get lucky you can make some great photos.

Next week's theme is Vision: Alternating Rhythm : Alternate patterns of light to bring depth and rhythm to the photograph. I'll have to see what the weather report looks like next week.  Maybe I can go downtown and play around with the lights and shadows and the buildings.  We'll see.