Winter means hibernation mode for me. And staying inside is an excuse to watch lots of documentaries and read fabulous photography books.
Here are some of things I’ve been crushing on recently.
Ever heard of Alice Guy Blaché? I hadn’t either until I saw this documentary about her. Her words BE NATURAL written in her film studio struck a particular chord with me. But also as the first female film director (and French at that) she was the first to figure out new filming techniques such as closeups and special effects, as well as making films about issues such as racism (she was the first person to have an all black cast in a film) and feminism (she made a film where women were dressed as men and men dressed as women). Her films were groundbreaking in so many ways that it’s almost difficult to keep track of them all. And all of this just at the turn of the twentieth century. What a remarkable woman!
Last year I joined Louis Dazy’s Kickstarter to help fund his book “Dreams in Technicolor.” When the book arrived, I fell even more in love with his dreamy, grainy, moody images. Day is a master of double exposures and fluorescent lighting, and his book is well worth looking at for inspiration especially during the winter dark months.
In fact I was so inspired, that I decided to try out some Cinestill film. But before I did so, I tried out some Lightroom presets to see if I might like the way it looked. When I was sure I wanted to go ahead, I bought a couple of rolls and shot one over a Christmassy weekend in Aldeburgh. It’s 800 ISO, so I was excited to shoot in relatively dark scenes. I will be shooting more. For sure. All the images in this post are from that roll.
But if you want to get that analogue look for your iPhone images, you might want to try a new app called RNI films. I’ve been using it for the last six months (when not using Lightroom) and adore how seriously easy it is to use. Plus there are so many extra filters to try out on your images, especially if you buy the extra packs (ALL THE INSTANT PACKS!). I haven’t had this much fun processing images in a good long while.
Another app I’ve been using a lot recently is called Podyssey. It’s an app that recommends podcasts based on what you’ve been listening to. I was recently recommended this episode from The Food Chain about Asma Khan. As the second daughter in an Indian family, she was greeted with tears of sadness when she was born. And when she married and moved to London she couldn’t even cook an egg. Fast forward a few decades and she now runs a famous Indian restaurant in London, employing an all female crew. I loved her words USE FOOD AS A BRIDGE.
Finally, I’m looking forward to seeing Art and Resistance in the American South at the Turner Contemporary at Margate. The exhibition includes images by Doris Derby, whose careers as an elementary school teacher, civil rights activist, and photographer led to her beautifully honest captures of what the American South was like in the civil rights movement. And since the exhibition doesn’t open until Spring, when it does I might even take a walk along Margate beach too!