Last week, I stumbled onto a city street that has clearly been forgotten. The graffiti artists, however, knows that it’s there, and they have left behind some really nice murals so I thought that this would be a good place to play with my Holga fisheye. When I say play I mean taking actual photographs; thinking about light and composition. I spent about two hours taking long exposures of the buildings, and of the houses, and mentally picturing, as I always do, how different the pictures will look.
Different is an understatement. The Holga fisheye that I have, and remember Holgas are different from purchase to purchase, left me with dime size images of basically nothing! On this day, I had a great sky, the lighting was perfect, and I completely underestimated the limitations of the lens that I was using, which had been stored for at least two years. Although I can’t remember why I initially re-boxed it, I'm pretty sure that the circles with Jackson Pollack-like images might have been the reason why.
After I developed the film and viewed the results, livid is a small word for what I felt. The entire roll was a FAIL. As I lay on my sofa with one arm across my forehead trying to recover (an image of Scarlett O’Hara comes to mind) all I could think about is what my shoot could have been had I not used that lens. Disappointment on this level took a few days to get over, and of course in Detroit the weather comes and goes, and lately it has been days of thick grey and not great. I’ve been waiting impatiently for blue skies for another shot-without the fisheye. As daunting as it sounds when you shoot urban photography one is always in a race against the changing landscape, natural or not, and lately a sense of urgency has been a constant companion, and I’m not really sure why.