I love manual process involved in making things. The trial, error and repetition.
And that’s why I take photos with a shitty Instax camera (I say shitty with alot of affection, it’s a term of endearment). It’s the most fun I’ve had for a while.
Sometimes the photos are underexposed, out of focus or completely out of frame. But because of this room for error, there’s three great things at play.
1. I pause before I take a photo, because of the materials used, which is minimal, but it does make me more mindful of the moment and how I want to frame it.
2. Although the camera automates the exposure, a third of the time, it gets it wrong, so I have to think more about how the camera has handled similar situations in the past, and how I can use the limited modes on the back of the camera to get the photo that I want. The limited modes are under-expose, over-expose, double-exposure, macro and landscape.
3. It’s something that’s physical and tangible, straight away. When a dear friend was moving overseas, I documented his farewell party and gave the photos to him at the end of the night. I’ve seen a ukulele teacher’s eyes light up after I gave him a photo at the end of the night. It’s a great little novelty.
I also tend to go through these photos more often than reviewing my digital photos. Even if it’s a shitty shot, I know the situation, and my memory fills in the gaps.
It’s the manual process of the camera and the learning curves that are the best.
Using this camera is a way that I can make something, a fleeting piece of how I see the world, without whipping out a phone or DSLR. It’s immediate, analog gratification.