Blog, SoCS

SoCS – Frame By Frame

Day 300

It’s Saturday which brings us to the time to let our minds run free and join in on Linda Hill’s Steam of Consciousness Saturday challenge. This week, Linda offers this for our inspiration:

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “frame.” Use it as a noun or a verb or any way you like. Have fun!

As a photographer, of course, my mind went directly to the frames on film. I started taking black and white photos when I lived in Maine. I purchased a Yashika 35mm camera for $130. It was a splurge for me. I found a local photographer who let me use his studio and taught me to develop my own film. On Wednesday nights I would leave work and go work in the darkroom which he rented to me for $5 an hour. I learned to develop my own film (Tri-X) and learned to print photographs on graded fiber paper. My intention was to print photographs I could hand-color, so fiber was what I needed to use. I remember very well selecting the frame I wanted to print, cleaning the film, putting it in the negative carrier, adjusting the enlarger, then choosing the correct filters to use to print the photo. Of course, dodging and burning the print along the way. You never knew how successful you were until you could finally drop the paper into the developer and watch for the image to appear.

There is a technique when taking photographs called bracketing. When you bracket photos, you take multiple shots of the same image, changing the exposure for each frame. This allows you to choose the best frame for printing once you are in the darkroom. A ‘real’ photographer would tell you if you know what you are doing, you should never need to bracket.

When I was in high school, I loved art class. One of my favorite art projects consisted of each student in the class getting multiple frames of a white plastic filmstrip on which to paint some animated sequence. Then the frames were spliced together into one film. It was a great project and seeing everyone’s work together was great fun. I have never seen that project ever done anywhere else.

Now that digital photography has taken hold, the concept of a frame of film is slowly being lost. However, the rules of filling the frame still apply. Of course, no matter how you take your photograph or what method you choose, there is still the art of choosing the right frame to compliment your work. And if you are going digital even in the presentation of the photo, you can use Photoshop to create interesting and artistic frames for your image.

Now that was fun! If you would like to join in the Saturday SoCS fun, why not drop by Linda’s blog, check out the rules and read this week’s offerings?

8 thoughts on “SoCS – Frame By Frame”

  1. I did some developing and printing at school, but didn’t own a camera until much later.
    Your thoughts take me back to bracketing, and that feeling of excitement when never knowing how things will turn out.
    My latest camera now shows the effect of any exposure changes in the electronic viewfinder, before I even click the shutter. It’s easier of course, but I’m not sure it’s better. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pete, working in the darkroom was a great joy of mine, until I started to get headaches from the fix. You are right, the anticipation of what your careful decisions would produce when the image was finally revealed was exciting.

      We have debated on buying a new digital 35mm camera. We have wuite a few lenses for our Nikons, so that is what I would probably buy.

      I also need to upgrade my cell phone and it is crazy to realize how important the camera is in weighing the value of a phone. I do miss shooting with a camera, though.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Dan, I miss it, too. Most of my film days involved black and white documentary work. We took a photo tour to Portugal and there I shot quite a bit of color film. I never did any color developing, though.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I admire your dedication to learning this process. Being low tech by nature, I never learned it, but I can still appreciate it. My phone takes “live” photos and when I go to “edit” it shows me several frames and one chosen (maybe the most in focus?) though I can pick a different one. I do love playing with cropping and effects. When you stop and think about all this, it’s pretty amazing what we can do.


I appreciate those who read and I enjoy your thoughtful comments.

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