I don’t shoot regularly with my SX-70 but, every now and then, I get an itch. That itch came to me recently as I was thinking about all the flowers that are in bloom; I wanted to catch them on film. I love my Fuji mirrorless and the way it records color, but sometimes I crave the softer tones and edges that instant film give me. Sometimes I want to hold the image in my hand…instantly.
So out I went. With a pack of expired film. To visit with the flowers.
Just living is not enough…one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.
~Hans Christian Andersen~
I am a gardener in my heart, though not in action. I sometimes dream of cutting gardens with paths meandering among the blooms. In truth, I don’t have the patience to create a garden like that, nor maintain one. And so, every spring, my daughter and I merely scatter seeds in our garden patch by the shed, and we wait for the flowers to grow. And, every summer, it’s kind of magic how they do exactly that: they grow.
I’m really quite simple. I plant flowers and watch them grow…
I stay at home and watch the river flow.
For all the years I’ve planted seeds, I admit to holding my breath every year. Will they grow? Will they bloom? Did I plant them properly? But I needn’t worry. They always grow, they always bloom, I always plant them well enough. Magic, I tell you.
It’s kind of the same when I shoot with film. Will they develop? Will they look the way I hope they will? Did I frame and expose properly? And while shooting with film is not as foolproof as planting seeds, still…I needn’t worry. They usually develop, they usually turn out close to how I’ve hoped, I usually frame and expose well enough. Magic, magic, magic.
Flowers touch my heart, and I seem to never get enough of them. With their rounded edges and overlapping petals. With the way they grow up, then a little bit out. With their color and form and gentle, steady presence. Likewise (more or less) with instant film. The roundedness and overlapping of tones and soft color. The way the image gradually fills the square, up and out and in. And, when I hold each image in my hand, that gentle slice of life captured forever…the presence of that light on that subject at that moment. Magic, I tell you.
It was a sweet visit I had with the flowers. And now I hold these images in my hand. I think about the magic of the flowers; I think about the magic of instant film. And, really, that’s more than enough to make this girl happy.
Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful;
they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul.
Hoping you’re enjoying some flowers in your world too. And maybe, just maybe, a pack of instant film.