Everything I do makes me realize how if struggling isn’t part of the process then the success isn’t worth it. Great success comes from many failed attempts whether we like it or not. I struggle a lot, especially in Film Photography. One day, I will be going good and things are amazing. The next, everything is a mess and my head feels like it is spinning. That is the way it goes, the work still gets done in the end.
Below is my Self-Portrait Contact Sheet for my class’s 4 by 5 (film negative) photo assignment. These negatives didn’t come easily. Originally I took 4 photos: two self-portraits and two outdoor landscapes. The developing process didn’t go smoothly. In my previous post, Live and Learn, my professor told me that is how we learn after I told him I had messed up my first film negative. This is the project I messed up on. That day I went on to only produce one developed film negative – the bottom self-portrait. Two days later, my top photo came out. Yes, I only have two for the printing part of the assignment, but I was just thankful that I had something show up. Because developing film takes a long time and when the film comes out black, clear, pink, or ruined by anything – it isn’t fun.
Many things can go wrong when developing black-and-white film, but when it goes right it is the best feeling in the world.
I have learned to take everything one class session at a time and remember to breathe! It isn’t the end of the world when you make a mistake or don’t succeed, it just means that it isn’t your very best outcome yet. Keep trying. Don’t forget that you can ask your professor for help.