Hello, my lovelies!
After months upon months of not posting anything here, today's post is going to be rather long and image heavy.
Before I get started, though, I want to make a bit of an announcement. It's past time I revisited — and rebranded — this portion of my site. While there will be tutorials here in the future (tagged "tutorial"), I've known for awhile that I need a more inviting, less formal space in order to keep myself producing content. I'm not a fan of feeling limited.
So, instead of just posting tutorials here, I want to use this space as a vehicle to talk about all things photography, photoshop, and everyday light-drawing. In the future, I may geek out over new photoshop techniques I've played with, or I may talk about Instagram photos. Who knows? There are as many possibilities as there are pixels.
Today, though, it's all about the disposable camera.
I may adore my digital and film SLRs, but I'm no stranger to the disposable. It was a staple of my college career. Before special occasions like New Years, or not so special occasions like parties or nights downtown with friends, I'd visit the nearest drug store and pick up a Kodak or Fuji disposable camera. I don't always trust myself — and I definitely don't trust others — with my bulky dSLR when I'm drinking. But events must be documented, and sometimes camera phone pictures just aren't enough.
There are ups and downs to disposables, like with anything else. I'm obviously pretty partial to them, but I'm also not blind to their faults either. Namely, how expensive they are. If you go to CVS, a disposable can cost around $9. The processing and development is an added $12. Throw in a photo CD for $3, and it can mean spending $24 for just 24 prints. That's not always in the budget.
There are ways to combat the $$$, though. Buying disposables in bulk on Amazon is cheaper than picking them up at the drugstore. Walmart — shocker — is another cheap retailer. Walmart's online website sells disposables for $2.96 (edit: they used to be. Looks like prices have gone up, but keep an eye out cause they might come down); the exact same camera goes for $5+ in their store. I'm not a Walmart fan, but it's hard to fight a price like $2.
Other ways to cut costs include not purchasing a photo CD. The CD is convenient, but I hardly ever buy it. If I want them to go online, which I almost always do, I either scan the photos or take pictures of them with my dSLR. Other cost-cutting ideas involve the couponing realm. There are specials that film developers like Walgreens and CVS occasionally put out for their photo department. Right now, I have a coupon for $2 off a $10 purchase in the Photo department at CVS that I'm saving for the roll of film I'm in the process of taking.
Some might also say the quality is a downside. Of course, you're not going to get the same type of resolution as with a dSLR, but that's not necessarily a bad thing in my book. It's simply a matter of different aesthetics. I look at film and see memories. And while I don't claim that any of my photos are works of art, there's no denying that some images taken with disposables can be.
Now for the benefits:
As a documentary medium, these suckers are excellent. They're quick, compact, and they don't lie very easily. For nights out, I don't have to worry about damaging a $200 digital camera or a much more expensive dSLR. I also really enjoy the process of development. If I've used the same disposable camera over the span of several months before, by the time I get it developed I can't remember everything I've taken. And I love that. I get to relive each memory frame by frame, image by image. Film lovers will understand.
With film, I'm more careful with what I choose to photograph. Even if I've been drinking, I take time composing the image. And I've noticed that subjects seem to be more... "well behaved" is a strange term, but it's fitting. They think, "oh, you only have a certain number of possible images? And you're going to use part of that finite resource on me? I'll humor you."
Well, maybe not always, but I do seem to take a lot more pictures of my friends flicking me off when I have my camera phone.
And, as an added super special bonus, underwater disposable cameras are things that exist.
Zack and I picked one up before our hike in Tallulah Gorge this September. I'm so glad we did. I knew I wanted to take pictures on the hike, but I was worried about my camera going smash bang into a bunch of rocks, falling into the water, and floating away never to be seen again. Plus, as much as I've ached for a waterproof housing for my Nikon, I haven't been able to spare the $2900+. The waterproof disposable from Fujifilm was about all my budget was cut out for. Nevertheless, I was very happy with the results.
The documentary process was something both of us were really happy about by the end of the day. We had a fun time taking pictures, and it was nice having tangible reminders of our trip after it happened.
Documenting a single day was something I'd done several years ago when I was working at a cafe in my hometown.
I'd been happy with the results then, and I'm even happier with the results now that I no longer live in the same area and work with the same people.
Another day that I knew needed documenting was October 3rd of this year.
Though I've been lucky enough to have been able to visit most weekends, Zack and I haven't lived in the same city the past several months. The distance is doable, and certainly worth it, but it isn't exactly fun either. I'm a person who attaches a lot of meaning and sentiment to photos, and it's not unusual for me to regularly reminisce over the photos I've taken of us. So, when it came time to compile gifts for our anniversary this October, I knew I wanted to get us a pair of disposable cameras to document the day.
I ordered two disposables from Walmart's online store and picked them up the next day.
The plan to document the third, the anniversary of our second date, ended up turning into documenting the entire weekend. Or, in Zack's case, the next two weeks. Just because we had a camera didn't mean we wanted to burn through the pictures.
We had a picnic.
Drinks at our favorite bar.
We went window shopping.
(So close to buying this fancy ski jacket in preparation for our trip to Montana this December!)
Dinner at Echo.
And a walk around downtown afterward. Short of being gifted roundtrip plane tickets to New Zealand or Paris or Rio by some unknown benefactor, it was an ideal day.
After the third, we each still had pictures left on our disposables, so what originally started out as documenting our anniversary day turned into documenting an anniversary weekend. I'm a firm believer in the birthday week, so the anniversary weekend was something I latched onto rather easily.
The following pictures are from the rest of the weekend... and there are a few more from the next time we got to see each other, since Zack didn't quite finish his disposable that weekend. Better to save pictures than burn them.
I'll end this long post with, you guessed it, more pictures. Viva la disposable.