Whereas a lot of photographers got their start using film cameras, I have only recently started dabbling in it. I consider myself to be a fairly patient person, but since I have gotten used to the instant gratification that digital photography offers, I have found my patience being tested in having to wait for rolls to be developed. I also like the added element of storytelling that each frame holds; the graininess, the blur, the light leaks, the out of focus that should be in focus… and as you’ll see, I’ve missed the focus in a lot of these. But all in all, I really love the effect that film gives, and in this digital age it’s nice to have a picture to hold in your hands. So this series was shot on a Sears KS500 film camera using a mixture of Porta 400 and Ektar 100 film. All were taken by myself unless you see my goofy mug in the frame, I blame Alison for those. All scenes are somewhere between Arizona and Alaska during a 12,000 mile road trip.
My mom bought me my first camera when I was 15, a Panasonic point and shoot, and I brought it with me on my first trip to Alaska for a week of kayaking in Glacier Bay National Park. It was 2 years prior to this that my mom went to Alaska for the first time. Upon her return I distinctly remember hearing her say “As soon as I retire, I’m moving to Alaska”, which was then followed up by a collective sigh from my brothers and me and a “whatever mom”. Another couple years would always pass and then more talk from her on this ‘great Alaskan retirement plan’, always followed up by eye rolls from her children. As the years moved closer to her retirement different books started showing up like “How to build your own garden” or “Cabin building for Dummies” (probably made that one up, but you get the idea). The saved YouTube videos on the computer were about building houses out of clay, or creating your own hydroponic plant systems, and it appeared year after year that things were getting more serious. At the age of 64, a purchase was made for approximately 12 acres of land on the island of Kodiak in Alaska. Hanging up her stethoscope, Mom enrolled in a 9 month long fully immersive wilderness survival school in Washington in preparation for her dream of ‘off the grid’ living. This month she turned 67. These pictures show her cabin -- run off solar power and backup generator, the abandoned school buses that she has turned into storage for firewood and tools, her Alaskan Malamute/Hound mix, the surrounding beauty that is the Emerald Isle, and proof that no matter your age, it’s never too late to pursue a dream.
Occasionally light leaks are done intentionally to create a unique effect. Often times they show up on the first or last frame of the roll. Other times, one has had a couple beers or one too many whiskey nips and opens the camera case with the film still exposed… I still liked the effect of a few of them.