Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Out of the Haze


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Copyright Monica L. Shulman

I'm coming out of day 3 of what was a terrible cold/flu/my body is trying to tell me something like I better stop doing so much at once syndrome. I spent most of the day in bed yesterday and part of today but I am finally starting to feel better.   One of the things that I did which required little thought and which brought back countless memories, was go through my film archives, as promised last week.

The first set of images that I went through are from a trip we took to Spain in early 2004. I was in law school and was really only shooting during school breaks and summer. Those were some very intense years.  I was pushing myself beyond any limits that I thought I had both in school and in life.   I was so tired and doing way too much at once...finishing up my third year of school, two internships, getting ready for a job after graduation, getting myself in the mindset of studying for the bar exam, being on the editorial staff of my school's law review, planning a wedding! Even thinking about it now exhausts me. Of course it was all worth it even though I ended up leaving the practice of law - if I hadn't gone through all that craziness, I wouldn't be where I am today.

In an effort to get me to relax and calm down (no easy tasks), my now-husband, then fiancee whisked me away to Spain - namely, Madrid and Barcelona. We went in late December/early January so for starters it was freezing and secondly, because of the holiday season, a lot of the museums were closed during most of the days we were there.  So basically we ate, drank and walked our way through Madrid and Barcelona - not bad, eh? We went for along walks since being from New York, the cold was no big deal, and along the way we sampled some of the best tapas and Spanish wines ever.  All in all, a perfect vacation.

Since we spent so much time on the street, and at the time I was going through a major black and white film phase, it goes without saying that I took A LOT of photographs. As I'm going through them now, I'm really (really) feeling the itch to get back to film. Of course there is so much more that you can do with digital now (plus it's faster, not to mention cheaper) and at the end of the day you can manipulate your photos to have that film/grainy/sharp look, but ain't nothing like the real thing.

Copyright Monica L. Shulman
One of the things that I loved most was waiting for the prints to develop! The anticipation was so exciting and when I was finally able to look at my work in my hands I was always transported back to that moment.  It's not that I don't get excited or feel that twinge of nostalgia for stolen moments that I capture using digital but it's just...different. I still look through my photos (because I definitely print a lot) but I've already seen them multiple times on my camera and computer screen, studied them, let them fall into the digital vortex and then go back to them, again and again. So here I am, nearly 8 years later, and the feeling is the same even though the memories are a little hazier.

Copyright Monica L. Shulman
I think this one is my favorite.  The only thing that really bothers me, and it's a lot more than just a minor detail, is that you can't fully see that this beautiful couple have their fingers intertwined.  I loved it.  Also, I made a cameo in this photo because the sun was behind me so there's my shadow.
Copyright Monica L. Shulman
All photos shot with a Nikon camera similar to this one using this film.

Copyright Monica L. Shulman

To see some more of my work shot with film click here.  I'll also be creating a gallery of film images on my website in the coming weeks.  Some of the work will only be featured there. 
Copyright Monica L. Shulman

Copyright Monica L. Shulman

Copyright Monica L. Shulman

Copyright Monica L. Shulman
Silver spoons at a flea market.  I had to take this photo because it reminded me of my great-grandmother.  She collected spoons...and by "collected" I mean that she took a spoon anytime she went out to eat or was on a flight (remember they used to give you real silverware?)  I inherited a lot of those spoons...I have one from Pan Am!


Copyright Monica L. Shulman

Copyright Monica L. Shulman


Copyright Monica L. Shulman
This woman went to a water fountain, filled up a plastic bag with some water and gave it to her dog.


Copyright Monica L. Shulman


Copyright Monica L. Shulman


Copyright Monica L. Shulman


Copyright Monica L. Shulman


Copyright Monica L. Shulman
Dolls scare me but they fascinate me too.