I need to take a very deep breath and dispose of some books.I have given a few away lately but I need to do better.But at least I do not keep magazines.
There are so many negatives.prints and slides in boxes.So many "gems" waiting to be discovered or rediscovered but the reality is that they will never see the light of day again.This set me reflecting on how much time and money I have spent on photography over the past 50 odd years and what I have achieved.I certainly did not do it for financial reward because it has been a serious money hole-perhaps not as bad as a boat or smoking or gambling or motor racing but a big hole nonetheless.
I have won a few competitions and had photos and photo stories published over the years but the reward to effort ratio is very poor.So why do I do it? I guess that I do it because it is an engaging activity.It certainly gives me a different point of view-I see the world in a different way as I constantly look for photo opportunities.But maybe beyond this justification it is because I'm not right in the head.This thought was triggered by an interesting and very well written blog I recently read where the author asks that question see IS RELEVANCE RELEVANT?
In an effort to prove the proposition that I'm also not right in the head whilst on my clean up I sought out an example of my photographic eccentricity where I expended effort and money on a totally pointless photographic exercise- and I decided that Scala film is a very good example.
Now Scala was a black and white slide film made by the German Agfa company.Production seems to have stopped about 9 years ago.It had to be processed by specialist labs so even if there is some still around in freezers processing would be an issue.The film was very fine grain and had great tonality but so what.Imagine being invited to a black and white slide evening.
Whoever needed black and white slides? Well certainly not me but that did not stop me out of curiosity running a 36 exposure film through my Leica back in 1998.I have mislaid or more probably thrown out most of the slides but here are two examples to prove that I am not right in the head.
Note - Since typing the above I have been told that there is a lab in Denver still processing Scala film.