Film and Purpose (or: Where are the photos?)

I lay in bed in a jetlag haze while images danced before my eyes. Sam to the left on his favorite bridge silhouetted in front of a dusky blue sky and bright gold bulbs- Kristen blurred while walking in front of Café de Flore, in focus while paused on a ledge, then blurred again against the back drop of a fluorescent Spanish bar. Of the Mazzo sign reflected in a table, two paintings in a Dutch restaurant- the cake stands at a Russian bakery- gold opulence of a Kremlin cathedral and the blue detailing of another. Me against a wrought iron door in a vintage blue dress, red lipstick and a gold geometric necklace from my husband.

I’ve been asked a few times where the photos are and why I haven’t posted them. Well, I haven’t seen them yet. Like little un-hatched eggs after a period of incubation, they’re being born at Photoworks. While I fell short of my 10 rolls in 10 days goal, seven rolls of 120mm film are being processed and will be ready tomorrow afternoon.

The lack of instant gratification has been met with beautiful anticipation and the pleasure of hearing that manual “click” of each shot. While totally impractical for events like weddings, I had no desire to shoot anything but film this trip after the first day in Moscow. I wanted to be deliberate and thoughtful, to compose and observe, to savor each moment I captured.

I missed images because of this. The dog larger than any dog I’d seen before trotting along the streets of Paris. The old ladies holding hands in massive fur coats in Moscow. Fun group photos and pretty much all photos after dark. But when I sleepily thought back on those rolls of film I carried around with me through four cities, I could remember almost all 84 shots and what I was thinking with each.

Curiosity might have killed the cat, but it brought pleasure to the photographer who will find a collection of memories on film tomorrow.