This is a bit different from the usual #fullrollfriday because I shot this roll of film, had no idea what to do with it, and ended up using it to make a video. Let’s start with that, then I’ll explain how it came about. (The video runs for four minutes)
So this is how this video came to be made.
I was taking part in a photo festival over here in South Australia where I live, and received a message from the curator: “Please prepare to put your exhibition online.” We were asked to make a virtual exhibition available in case the physical one could not proceed, and this got me thinking.
The expectation was that we would just take the same images that we had printed for hanging and upload them to a website for online viewing.
But one of my pieces was a collection of 18 panels spread out 5 metres wide and 2 metres high and it didn’t really make sense online – the idea was that you had to walk up and down and interact with it.
The whole point of making this piece was to create something that could not be experienced online. I mean, if it’s the same on a website what is the point in going to the trouble and expense of mounting a show?
What was most important to me was not the works themselves, but more the feeling and experience that I could offer the viewer.
So I took a step back and thought about this for a while.
I recalled that I’d been sitting on a roll of 135 Velvia 100 that I really liked but had no idea what to do with.
This roll was shot in one glorious afternoon and recorded a trip I’d made along the coast on a day when the skies were sensational. It really was a moment of pure inspiration. (Here are my thoughts on that) But this roll only made sense in its entirety.
By partly winding on while at the same time fiddling with the rewind release button I’d shot a roll of 135 Fuji Velvia 100 slide film in my Olympus XA2 and overlapped the frames in-camera to a continuous series of multiple exposures that documented the journey.
I hadn’t planned this – it was a case of being taken away by the moment and letting it happen. I don’t think I could repeat it and I have no plans to try.
I had shop scans made of the roll as it was processed and of course they were scanned as single frames. I really liked them, but they did not tell a story. They seemed a bit odd to me; like they were supposed to part of something more cohesive.
At home I scanned some of them again as longer panos but same deal – the point was that this was a journey from the beach, up over a dam and down to another beach chasing the sky along the way.
Then I had the idea of overlapping them in time; transitioning from one frame to another in a sort of crude movie. Not at 24 frames per second, but maybe one frame every five seconds or so.
I liked the idea of the interplay of the multiple exposures with the soft transition between frames. And here was something that would work online.This seemed to provide the answer of how to make something that would get my intent across in an online format.
I knocked it up in iMovie, and my wife played some viola music as background.
And that’s how it came about. I’ve not given up on the idea of displaying the images physically somehow, and making a film out of them has actually helped me refine my ideas on how they should be displayed.
I like the idea of a series of backlit prints on translucent material, displayed around the walls in a darkened room, and overlapping, each printed about 60×90 cm. Of course this would be a horrendously expensive thing to do, and I doubt it will never happen.
In the meantime, I’m pretty happy to have this little video as something that I feel works in an online environment.