Outtake: Local Color

Richlandtown ain't even that backwoods, guys.

Richlandtown ain’t even that backwoods, guys.

You may remember my senior thesis project where I attempted to capture what made my hometown unique by compiling a book of digital color photographs. Unlike many of my peers (she recalls not-so-self-righteously) I shot for this project continuously from August 2010 until about March 2011, to prepare the book, make prints, and follow my progress with this blog until we presented in April 2011. I thought about this project for a solid school year, and made several different versions of the images (and the book) until I got a final project I was happy with.

I was still shooting film senior year, and have shot plenty of film since, but since graduation I have had nowhere to develop. I thought about paying for darkroom time. I considered mailing my film to a faraway lab and impatiently waiting for it to return to me, like a chemistry-driven boomerang. Then I found my new friends at the PHOTOLounge on Chestnut Street, and in a magical three days, they developed nine rolls of film for me of mysterious origin. (I’ve also lost some exposed film since moving to the Iladelph. Pray to Ansel Adams and Berenice Abbott that those puppies show up sometime soon.) I am so, so happy to have found this lab, run by very nice, smart, artist-oriented fellas who were very supportive of my film-related hobbies.

Most of what I had developed was medium-format color film, shot on my Holga. I also had a few black and whites, as well as a bit of 35mm black and white. These first shots I’m showing off are black and white 120s – shot either with a twin lens reflex Seagull or the Holga. I’m betting on the Seagull, however, because I basically owned Arcadia’s Seagull while I was there and these shots are missing the kooky vignetting and blur that shows up on a lot of Holga pictures.

So here’s a nostalgic first look at my mystery photos from the last three years. That’s right, kids – these shots are from (if I remember correctly) September 2010, on the way into Richlandtown (from Pumping Station.) This crazy-cool car, which is purple in the color-having world, was for sale on the side of the road. I included a vibrant picture of it in my thesis book, and I don’t know what possessed me to take a black and white picture of a purple car, but I am SO GLAD this fella showed up to make it memorable.

Other magical moments I got to re-live when I went through my developed film: a family road trip to Wisconsin, being with my sister by Lake Michigan, some great Qmart shots, experimenting with double exposures, exploring my Old Kensington neighborhood last summer, and some incredible street art in this area. The best part about this was the surprise of seeing what I had captured so long ago, the memories it triggered, and how well the color 120s turned out even though I had never shot in color on that camera before. I hope you guys enjoy seeing them for the first time as much as I enjoyed discovering the evidence of things I had done years ago.

In a world with color, this car was purple.

In a world with color, this car was purple.

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