Neighborhood photo walks: Trying to find motivation, trying to find my style. (My journey in film photography)

Shogren House Steps. 9 June 2020. Camera: Konica C35 EF. Film: Kentmere 400.

I’ve taken quite a bit of film pics since I got the Minolta Hi-Matic 7s. I’m enjoying getting into film photography, and there’s something about having an actual camera strapped ’round shoulder that compels shooting. Most of the pictures I’ve taken over the past few months have been from walks I’ve taken around the neighborhood. Biking and cameras are great, but walking is more conducive to shooting–I’m moving slower, and don’t have to stop the bike to get a shot.* And I need the exercise, so the walks.

I’ll admit that going to an exotic location is more exciting than shooting the familiar that surrounds me. But I’m trying to be responsible during this pandemic; I know I’ll be able to get out there at some point. For now, I’m trying to be content with adventuring within a couple-mile radius from my house.

North Tabor, 31 May 2020. Camera: Minolta Hi-Matic 7s. Film: Fomapan 100

Walking around my own neighborhood is as easy as it comes. And North Tabor/Montavilla is familiar. Besides living here with Emee for over a year, I lived a few blocks away in 2008-9. So I “know” the area. But taking these walks I find out that I don’t know as much as thought. I’m constantly finding hidden things and different angles. This is what I want to capture.

I also want to capture what’s around me. I’ve lived in a lot of different places over my lifetime. I have distinct memories of some aspects of the places I’ve lived, but much of it grows hazy. I’d love to have some photos of the neighborhoods that I lived in before I moved to the West Coast,** but I didn’t have a camera then, or didn’t think about it if I did. My street was mundane, I’d only pull out a camera if it was something interesting. Now I’m interested in that mundane.

Kitty Watches You! Montavilla, 1 April 2020. Camera: Minolta HiMatic 7s. Film: Kentmere 400.

And “recording the world around me” has become something of a style. Heck, it’s been a style with me for years, even back in the smartphone/digital camera era. Now there tends to be less of “my bicycles with a backdrop”*** and more cars and houses. The other key difference is I’m more interested in composition, getting the picture right in camera. I’m more willing to experiment, shoot things at different angles, play with shadows and light. Throwing black and white film into the mix has invigorated me, I’m now seeking out more patterns and texture.

Still, sometimes it’s hard to feel inspired after three months or so of walking around the same neighborhood because I have to. I start pining for new horizons. And I worry that even if I try for “a different angle”, I end up taking the same photos over and over again.**** So I’m waiting for a time where I can go on more adventures. Until then, I’ll be hoofin’ the streets of North Tabor and Montavilla, camera strapped ’round shoulder.

For more shots around the neighborhood, go here.

Curtain, North Tabor. 10 March 2020. Camera: Olympus XA2. Film: Fomapan 400.

*I’ve tried a few “moving shots” on the bike which have given me mixed results.

**I realize that there’s this thing called “Google Street View”, but it’s only going to show me the Beaver Street of now, not 1985.

***Which is a great way to get “likes” with certain flickr and Instagram circles.

****And if I do, I’m sure Stasia will point it out! 😉

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One thought on “Neighborhood photo walks: Trying to find motivation, trying to find my style. (My journey in film photography)

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  1. ha! Am I a photo troll? 🙂 I don’t really remember what you’re talking about, but I WILL say my intent is never to “gotcha” but to say “hey! I’m paying attention and I noticed!” 😉

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