I’m surprised I’ve made it this far into the year without having a no theme week! Twenty-Five weeks, not bad. But the best part is that this is a no theme week not because I needed a break or something bad happened but rather one that I decided upon to help out the Embrace the Grain Podcast and their community engagement project for their Facebook group for Film of the Month. And June’s film of the month is Fomapan 100, so it saddled up nicely with the ongoing weekly project. And sure I could have used some medium format rolls I had kicking around but why not combine the two! If you haven’t listened to the Embrace the Grain Podcast, you can check them out over on Stitcher!
There isn’t much in the way of history for this week, given that I was shooting the camera every day throughout different locations. Many of which I have discussed in the past weeks of this project. Rather there are a couple of points I wanted to talk about. First is why I decided to include a week dedicated to a community project from another podcast. Well, I first ‘met’ Sherry through a Facebook group chat. The Chat called the Film Podcaster’s Union Local 120mm is a gathering of some of the larger film photography podcasts from across the world. While we are the larger podcasts, we are smaller in reach than the Film Photography Podcast, the Union’s ultimate ancestor and probably the inspiration for many of the shows (what shoe?) within the Union. While the Union was formed a couple of years back as an April Fool’s joke started to Em from Emulsive, it has become a little community of its own where we all help out and support each other and our individual podcasts. Second, the idea of a no theme week came out of my second 52-Roll Project when I had no idea of what I wanted to shoot so I kept the camera with me, and it ended up being a nice way to cleanse the palette. And given the placement near the middle of the project, this worked out well to help carry on into the second half of the year.
One of the joys of running a no-theme week is that I can shoot from the hip and carry the camera with me each day. Normally I would want to carry the camera with me for the full seven days. But as the weekend was taken up with other things, I had it with me during the workweek. Some days I shot more than others, but I made a point to click that shutter at least once per day. This method means that I ended up with a wide range of images so when it came to choosing the seven, I went with my gut to cover off a typical week. Which yes, includes a giant stuffed panda, which I originally got for Heather. Bartholomew, or Big B, would help her when she slept during the day when she worked the night shift and sat quietly and helped fill the space when I was working from home last year. Of course, I’ve revisited a couple of early themes, including things from around campus, a trip to Home Depot, a quick trip on a lunch break into a valley trail behind the Sheridan campus and finally a historic graveyard a couple of minutes drive from campus that is nice and quiet during the day.
Given that I wasn’t going to be shooting the entire roll in one day like I have been doing I needed to keep things simple. Thankfully going with the Nikon FM for the project helps with a compact mechanical camera body that can take a decent beating. As I wasn’t going to be carrying a dedicated camera bag each day rather my laptop messenger bag that travels to and from work with me and shooting the film over the course of my five day work week. For that I needed a smaller lens that if it gets damaged I’m not overly concerned, so I went with the Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 lens, one of the few Nikon “Pancake” style lenses. It also offers up a fast lens for indoor shooting and a ‘normal’ field of view to catch life as I saw it. I also threw on a pale yellow filter for most of the work, especially when I was outdoors, but took it off for indoor shooting. I also continued to rate the film at the box speed of ASA-100. Development I went with Ilford Ilfotec HC but not my usual 1+63 dilution, but rather a more dilute mixture of 1+79, developing the film for twelve minutes. I had this time planned already for the film for week 26, so I paired the two rolls together to save on developer and time processing them at the same time in the same tank. The joys of working on the project in such a way that I can be economical in this fashion.
Next week we’re hitting the road and heading to another favourite rural community of mine and one that I have wanted to include in the project so many times but each time it kept on getting pushed…but not this time, we’re heading into Elora, Ontario!