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Phlogger aka Andrew Walmsley

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The negative journey

This “the negative journey” project came to me, out the blue, which is quite normal for me. Suddenly an idea will pop in my wandering mind and I have to rush to note this down (normally I use Trello for this). After shooting so much film recently I wanted to start a project involving film.


The background

The original thought was how interesting would it be if we got a load of photographers from around the world shooting on the same roll of film. After thinking about the practical side this seemed a great idea and something for the future, but how about trying it just with the UK first. The main limiting factors would be postage and packing. Sending a camera through customs for each country could involve high costs, the packaging would need to be first-rate and would the film be exposed or affected by customs officials.

Not long after joining the Facebook “35mm film“group friendships started to be formed – one of these was with Leyton Cleveley who helped out in the hour of need.

Project brief

The brief is simple in theory, with a few constraints in place it should be simple enough to carry out

  • Olympus OM10 camera
  • 50mm f1.8 lens
  • 1 film (probably black & white)
  • 8 photographers?
  • 2 countries
  • 24 shots
  • 1 notebook

Having used the camera over the last few months this should provide the confidence for all involved to get a good exposure.Using tried and tested film should also eliminate any problems here too.

the negative journey - image of the olympus om10
Olympus OM10 camera to be used in the project

The shots

With so few shots available the choice of what to actually shoot may seem hard.  The suggestion is to be yourself and photograph something you like.  The end product will teach everyone something about you and your style anyway.  Just remember the film type and fixed lens, so bear this in mind with your subject matter.

Each photographer is allowed to take 2 or 3 shots (to be confirmed) and then the idea is to post this directly to the next person in the project.  During each turn it would be great if each photographer can complete any notes in the small notebook provided.  These notes could be how the shot was made, the settings used, the weather, your mood, anything related to the exposure.

ilford hp5
Ilford HP5 film (to be used in the project)
The rules of the journey

Time and exposures are the only rules in theory.  We are not time lords, therefore, the seconds are always passing by.  Due to the number of people involved it would be useful if the shooting can take place within a maximum of a week.

The number of shots per photographer will be formalised soon and the photographers will be notified.

If the photographers can take care of the camera during shoots and forwarding to the next photographer is a concern, as most of us do not know each other.  However, there is a mutual love of film and I have faith in all participants.


The negative journey – the end

Once the film is returned, this will be developed and shared with all those involved. A suitable communication will be drafted to all to allow permission to post the shots online.   All photographers are being encouraged to show their work off, tell their friends and share the gallery.  Hopefully, everyone will remember to credit the photographer!

Upon completion a further blog article will be written, hopefully with a gallery of the shots and information from the notebook.  This is not laid down in concrete so bear with us, a small e-book could be possible depending on time, co-operation and the results.

ilford hp5

Get involved

If you know someone who likes using film in their photography hobby, then pass this on to them.  Tell them to get them involved. It would be so rewarding to see this project happen and become a success.  Let’s tell the world film is alive and get this on social media.

In the meantime don’t forget to check out the phlogger’s latest Instagram feeds:

analogue work here – @phlogger_analogue

street photography here –  @pavementphotography


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