Bringing Back the Bohm

Proud to present my debut as a documentary film maker with Bringing Back the Bohm, the story of a dedicated group of community leaders coming together to restore a closed and dilapidated theater in Albion, Michigan.

Last fall, through my job at Albion College, I had a chance to photograph students learning about the theater’s restoration process. Elizabeth Schulteiss, the executive director of the Albion Community Foundation and lead cheerleader of the Bohm project, and I talked about how several documentary offers had fallen through.

Having done video work for the college, I volunteered to complete a short documentary for the theater in time for their grand opening on December 27, 2014 – the 85th anniversary of the theater’s opening in 1929.

The project was well outside my comfort zone. A five minute video I can do, but a half hour video?

Luckily I had lots of help from the Friends of the Bohm committee, my co-worker (and producer!) Erica, and the resources at the college.

The documentary debuted at the grand opening, after a rushed few weeks to get all the interviews and editing done.

I’ll say this: it’s a heckuva thing to see something you made on a real big screen. The film has its quirks, and I see lots of stuff I’d like to make better. But the point is, it’s done and out in the world for lots of people to see.

Learn more about this great historical community theater, and catch a movie there. You can order a copy of the documentary on DVD by contacting the theater, too.

A nifty option: real film border scans, courtesy of RW Boyer. He has some other options coming down the pipeline as well, from the sounds of it, so stay tuned.

Added a bit of faux grain in Photoshop and used a probably-too-sharp-for-film image off the Fuji XE-1. Note, also, that’s using Fuji’s in-camera B&W filter and shooting a JPG out. So more Fujifilm than Kodak. But oh well.

Thanks RB!

Trying Out Film

Fuji Superia

The fun part about a hobby is that you can take risks and trying things out with little to no consequence (if you don’t count time or effort).

And so, while I don’t do New Year’s resolutions, this year I’m going to try to do a bit more 35mm film photography.

I just posted my first batch of photos developed from a roll of Fuji Superia film. My local photo shop actually developed them for me last year, but it’s taken me this long to get them scanned and uploaded. I’m also working on a roll of Ilford black and white film that I’m excited about.

Fuji Superia: MacBook

All of this film stuff has me thinking about experimenting with film more. Specifically, I want to play with my Tomyko LT002 plastic toy camera. I just loaded it with some Lomography 400 speed color film (if you’re going to go toy/plastic, go all the way, right?). While poking around, doing some research on the camera, I came across some sample images – the type of dreamy photos I’ve wanted to make, just for fun.

(An aside: it’s super hard to find info on these Tomyko – or Lavec – cameras. But you can grab your own for $15 on eBay, or for $5 at a local thrift store.)

Fuji Superia 770

Also, I have collected rolls of Kodak Portra and Ektar to try out with my Pentax K1000.

To do all this, there’s a little bit of an investment involved. It takes money to develop and scan the film (though not much), but that’s to be expected with any hobby. And lord knows I know how to spend money on a hobby.

Fuji Superia 767

Taking photos with film is different almost automatically. You need some patience, and some selectivity, to make film photos.

That’s my goal for 2014: explore this measured pace. Make thoughtful images. And learn a bit about how people used to make photos.

Play With Images

To this day I still get excited when I feed a card into the computer and begin to play with the images; it’s like painting or sculpting, getting my hands dirty. It’s a step of the process I thoroughly enjoy, however time consuming it may be.

Film, Kage stuff… It’s Friday. — laROQUE

Indeed. I like playing around with a few images, just to get the look and style down, and then going to town on the rest.

What else I’ve found helpful: not touching the photos for a while – like a month or longer. It makes editing/culling easier, because there’s no longer an emotional attachment.