“These days, we love our digital cameras. They give us the freedom to explore photography as never before. We get instant feedback on our photographic experiments and find out what works and what doesn’t; we can easily manipulate the results and correct our blunders; and to ensure we don’t miss a shot, we shoot all the pictures our memory cards will hold. When we are done, we pack our hard drives with gigabytes of images and flood the web with our work.
But this ease of use and surfeit of images comes with a price. In the analog era, when we had to pay to see what we shot, we were more careful when we took photographs. This forced a discipline that is hard to imagine today. In the words of Stephen Shore, “[Today] there seems to be a greater freedom and lack of restraint…as one considers one’s pictures less, one produces fewer truly considered pictures.”
This is where our 36 Exposures Challenge — brought to you by FILE and our friends at Coudal Partners and Flak Photo — comes in. In it, we are asking you to use a film camera to explore Shore’s concept of “conscious intentionality.” Broadly speaking, we are challenging you to do two things: articulate a concept, project, or theme and then use a film camera to photograph the images to accompany it. There are, then, two parts: creating the idea and then acting on it. Sound interesting? Well, there is a catch (or two), and if you are interested, here are the rules…”