I love simplicity. I love the fact that my Diana film camera has exposure settings simply for cloudy, partly cloudy, and sunny; and only 3 approximate focusing distances. I love that it is plastic and weighs nothing and I can throw it in my bag while I hike. I love that I don’t care if it collects a little dust or gets dropped. I love that it can take me 3 weeks or even 3 months to shoot ONE roll of 12 exposures. Shooting with my Diana is such simple fun and reminds me of my early film days… pausing time to wait and patiently anticipate a moment... and then, hoping I captured it with that one shot. When you shoot film, you naturally take more time to think about making a photograph and I love that. I also love getting my film back. It smells like sweet nostalgia.
I took my first photographs of the Runyon Canyon bench with my Diana camera in June 2009. For those photographs, I waited until the bench was empty to fit my vision. I photographed the bench again this past March and April, while documenting my regular bi-weekly hike (for the sake of personal nostalgia). This time, I found myself more interested in the dynamic of what happens in that spot and how fleeting those moments are. I waited only a second and photographed what was there.
I took only two pictures of the bench on that roll of film, so I was delighted to see them show up side by side on my contact sheet (even though they were taken 2 weeks apart). An idea sparked and I instantly knew what I wanted to do with the last roll of black and white film I had on hand.
I decided to set out to fill it solely with Runyon Canyon bench pictures – whatever is happening when I arrive after my steep climb. As of yesterday, I finished the first roll of my official “runyon canyon bench series ” – 12 exposures, spread out over one month. I am SO excited to get my film developed and will share photos (even if it’s nowhere near as cool as I thought it would be) and more about this personal challenge/project next week!
For now, here are the two images that sparked the idea. (And you can see my original bench photos from last year here.)