All or Nothing.

img387img445I don’t know why, and I certainly don’t know what it says about me as a person, but I can not leave film in a camera; when I load a roll, whether it be 36 images on 35mm or 10 on 6x7cm, as soon as I start shooting I have to finish it. I don’t load film into a camera until I see something I want to shoot, so I can be driving along a road, see something that catches my eye and that’s it, the shooting frenzy begins. What normally happens is that I’ll shoot six or seven frames on medium format, but then I run-out of steam, but I simply can’t put that camera back in my bag until it’s empty, so I invariably end-out just taking pictures of the most inane objects – sheds, lamp posts, road signs…sometimes even my own feet.

All the colour shots here were made during my last trip to Yellowknife. They are all the last frame off each roll of film.

img449img447img444img450img451The strange obsession doesn’t end there, it can actually manifest itself on an even grander scale – at the end of shooting a project in another location, whether it be close by or in another country, I CAN NOT take any unused film home with me…I know, I have some kind of compulsive disorder.

The shots below were made at about 1am in Yellowknife, five hours before I was due at the airport to fly home. I shot about 15 rolls of film in less than 20 minutes…

I think I need to stay away from casinos and horse racing tracks.

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  1. You are not alone! I’m often itching to finish the role off just for the sake of it. Sometimes it is the opposite for me and I end up carrying the last one or two precious shots of 35mm with me for days and they end up completely different from the rest of the roll…


  2. Sounds like you need to invent a roll of film that only has “last frames” on it – if it resulted in such consistently great shots as these, there would be a mad rush to buy it (and back to film).

    Just wondering – if your battery indicator on a digital camera is showing very low, do you feel compelled to shoot until the battery is dead? I know that swapping batteries and loading film don’t have all that much in common, at least in sensory terms. But, they do both involve sliding things in and out of camera body cavities.


  3. I am trying to curb this tendency… I don’t travel much, so I usually end up with another photograph of something I have already photographed a million times. This is part of the reason, I think, I prefer medium format these days. Very easy to finish a roll!


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