Tuesday, 8 May 2012

film swap

want to try a film swap? by mdx
On March 4th I posted a project idea on my Flickr photo stream :

"the idea is that you shoot a roll of film - and then wind it back but leaving a bit sticking out, like this one I shot earlier  - then you post your film  to me and I'll post you this film and then we shoot the films over again - ending up with a film each of exciting double exposures - want to try it out? (I shot this @ iso 400)"

Not a totally original idea (is anything?) - there's a few flickr groups doing it here: http://www.flickr.com/search/groups/?q=film+swap
although mostly interested in swapping films between distant locations.

Anyhow - flickr photographer Caroline Fraser http://www.flickr.com/photos/miffymoo2/ was up for it, and so I posted her my film.
And waited.
And after a while I received a black and white film in return which I eventually got round to shooting.

Caroline posted an interesting article on her blog http://carolinescamera.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/art-of-living-dangerously-collaborating.html exploring the potential risks of collaborating with a stranger (something I hadn't considered), the joy of shooting film, and the intrigue of the whole process of deciding what of your life to share with a stranger.

Following from Caroline's lead I took mine to Snappy Snaps for dev and printing and once again waited.
The anticipation and thrill of picking up your photos is lost in this digital age.  The frames inevitably overlapped (Snappy Snaps thoughtfully didn't cut the negatives) and their decision to print a particular frame adds a further level of editing to the final selection.

Ownership is interesting – I guess we both own all of it, which is kind of unusual for a photographer. Not for a musician (I'm always making this comparison). Reminds me of David Campany and Polly Braden's photographs of the Lee Valley http://pollybraden.com/work/adventures-in-the-valley/ shot on one shared camera – allegedly loosing track of who took which photograph. In the way that everything starts to refer back to something else I'm reminded of a musical collaboration I did back in 2000 with a musician in Oakland http://www.martindixon.org.uk/music/bipolar-transmission/ .

Not sure what we do with them – something we haven't discussed, but in a way the process of doing it and thinking about it is great in itself – so thanks Caroline for boldly collaborating with a stranger!

film swap image 1film swap image 5film swap image 4film swap image 3film swap image 2


  1. great to see them at last, Martin; some interesting ones here; i like the black and white better than the colour; somehow it is easier to see both layers of the image."Turned out nice", as they say!

    1. indeed it took a while! - and yes the b/w works well with the abstraction - i'll try and get to scan the negs. Some are quite surprising - that little man walking on the edge of the box!

  2. OK I see ... very nice! My old K1000 is siting around the office...