The mindset leading to the manifesto

After the little dance in my mind over bourbon, I got to thinking that I should just extend my digital break. I began to tell people that I was taking a break from pixels. I started browsing old-skool photography websites. I found instructions online to build a pinhole panoramic camera which shoots 6×12 on 120 film. I dug out my Ansel Adams books.

I shot film. I developed my entire backlog. I figured out a crude, unreliable way to scan negatives without a backlight. I created a Flickr set called Back to Basics, in which I posted the results. I joined Flickr groups in order to have my new work seen by others, and in order that I might be inspired by their work, learn from it, push me further.

And the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to make this break stick, at least in terms of creative photography. I wanted to document the things around me, and I relished the idea of making do with a small range of parameters.

It occurred to me that I wanted strict guidelines to which to adhere.

In the night of the 17th of October, it occurred to me to draft a document outlining these rules, similar to the one adhered to by Dogma 95 filmmakers. I scratched out a draft immediately (I keep a notebook by the bed for such purposes), simply a list of things I wanted to cover.

The following morning I started this blog.

On reflection, I could have been harder on myself. I could have combined points 3 and 4, since one seems to entail the other. I meant to add a requirement that I use manual exposure and aperture controls (though allowing for a light meter), though the latter is easily enough adhered to since I don’t own any film cameras which do anything for you other than meter light.

It’s important that I state at the outset that unlike Dogma 95, I don’t want to ‘save photography’ — my skills are far too modest, my technique too clumsy for that. I simply want to save my photography. I want to set myself a challenge which I know is on the one hand attainable, but on the other hand strict enough to massage my brain out of its torpor.

Also, I hope I manage to squeeze off some awesome photography.

Wish me luck…


About lidlesseye

Mouthing off about photography, and occasionally important things too.

Posted on October 19, 2007, in Manifesto, Photography and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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