My Disposable Summer
I find it amazing how much of experimental filmmaking was born as a result of the particular equipment, or rather lack of equipment, being used to create works. The nature of resources available for creating film has such a keen ability to dictate the kind of art created, resulting in numerous film movements and philosophies whose key traits and characteristics are significantly based around the kind of tools being used for creation.
Photography is the same way, where the aesthetic produced by different materials start to become artistic statements in of themselves. The kids over at Street Etiquette dropped some progressive fashion photography not too long ago (via Cleon Grey, of Aveder Outfit fame), shooting a post with disposable cameras on the motorcycle jacket, along with heavyweights Ali of A Noble Savage, Ouiji of The Brooklyn Circus, and Kadeem of KJohn La Soul.
I recently had a chance to have my own fun with disposables as well, over the summer. Without access to my typical camera equipment, I was forced to improvise new ways to document my summer. It was amazing, living in a resort town where 75% of the people in the area at any given time were tourists. Seemingly rows upon rows of semi-vacant, identical $35-a-night motels were juxtaposed with beautiful mountains and creeks. I did my best to capture what I saw around me.
With disposable cameras, you often don’t know what you’re getting. The settings are out of your control, and the results are often as unpredictable as Johnny Weir’s wardrobe. But things really start to get interesting when you start getting liberal with digital editing of your disposable images.
I got in a pretty experimental mood when I was editing these images, trying different approaches that would have likely never occurred to me had I not been editing disposables. Even fully conscious of how much the medium was dictating the way I approached the editing process, I was still unable to go about it in any other way.
The results were great though. I’m really happy with the way things turned out. In the age of super DSLRs and 5Ds that can shoot entire feature-length films and street style blog presentations at the same time, analog photography is oft quickly forgotten. It’s nice to know that there are certain things technological advancement can’t quite replace, the raw aesthetic of a particular medium.