Saturday, March 20, 2010

I love a contact sheet

Contact sheets are my favourite things to make in a darkroom. The photographs are so small you can't really see the imperfections that you know are there and you will eventually see when you enlarge them. On the contact sheet every image looks like a perfect little self-contained universe, neatly arranged and segmented along with the others around it. They tell a story in a way the single image can only really hint at - like the short synopses you'd read at the start of each chapter of old adventure novels. Plus, they're real easy to make and sort of satisfy the need for instant gratification...

These are all quite badly 'scanned' (I just photographed them with a digital camera), hopefully I'll get to use the scanner at school and get some decent files, but for now I just want to make sure I've recorded them. The one above is about the trip I took to Limerick and Cork supporting the 202s and Patrick Kelleher. About half the images were destroyed either by my increasingly fault-ridden camera or just by a freak roll of film, which is pretty disappointing but I'm happy with what wasn't destroyed.  

Christmas at home, taken with a borrowed camera.

I had the idea one day when I was home and killing time before work to just quickly take vertical photographs of windows, but it branched out to include rivers and archway entrances, and then I kind of forgot about the windows a bit. I had the resulting contact sheet in mind; I think I liked the idea of applying uniformity to subjects that were only tenuously related... I had the word 'Ways' in my head while doing it. It was fun, running around trying to spot specific subjects, and I tried to continue taking only vertical photos for the rest of the roll, though I obviously forgot what I was doing at one point.