Film Strips: Killing Two (or Three) Birds with One Stone!
Content and Images Contributed by: David Gremp
One of the things I love about looking at a newly developed roll of film is that it actually tells a story. There is a chronology to every roll from the first frame to the last. It’s a way of retracing your steps in a very physical, clear and sometimes surprising fashion. It’s impractical, if not impossible to know how each roll of film will play out as you’re shooting it but I’ve always appreciated the little surprises that pop up on a contact sheet when I see how two or three images are joined together as if by shear luck!
I’m not sure if it’s a habit I developed in my large-format days, or my innate willingness to trust my first instincts when I see something I want to photograph, but I hardly ever take more than one exposure of a single subject before moving on to the next. What this gives me on a 12-exposure roll of film is a different subject, or unique image in each frame. Whether it’s an inanimate object or a person, each exposure seems to be unique, and I sometimes have a hard time separating two or three images when I find a sequence of what I call diptychs and triptychs where “the whole is greater (or at least more interesting) than the sum of its parts.
Recently, I’ve been working on a photography project at my local auto repair shop. In addition to doing routine repairs on regular cars, like mine, they also specialize in restoration work on classic cars from the 50′s and 60′s, and have a constant rotation of very cool old T-birds, Mustangs, Corvettes, Continentals and other models in varying stages of repair and restoration. I began taking pictures of sections of each car with my square, medium format camera, without really having any idea of what I was going to do with them. So, I started cutting up the contact sheets into little squares and playing around with them, like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle or scrabble squares. I found that combining strips of two or three images said something more about my subjects than any single frame did.
I hope that you enjoy the images, and would love to hear more if you’re inspired to begin a personal photography project combining your images.
To see more of David Gremp’s work on other projects, visit alibifineart.com.