August – Analogue Snapchat or a representation of the Edinburgh Festivals in 35mm film

For my August project I was very much struggling for ideas. I could point you in the direction of BBC at the Edinburgh Festivals and suggest you gaze upon it as my art project. But alas that would be far too easy. I instead managed to find inspiration amongst the mess that is Edinburgh during August. I stumbled upon Stills¬†and came across a large collection of Jo Spence’s work. I’m not a big fan but the self-portraits examining inner turmoils got me thinking.

I decided to convey my weird sense of humour, critical thoughts and general harshness through some sort of analogue Snapchat story using a Kodak Duaflex based around tourist attractions in Edinburgh. I know what you are thinking, this has been done a million times how will you make it different, new and exciting? Well I am using film from Jessops that is 14 years over its expired date in a camera that is far older than myself. Is what I would say.

Edinburgh, Jessops finest 14 years expired 35mm and this. #vscocam #35mm #film #photography @kodak_photo

A photo posted by Guy Phenix (@guyphenix) on

The plan was to take a series of classic tourist photos around Edinburgh but with a miserable twist. Me being the miserable twist. Then scan them and take pictures on my phone on Snapchat thus creating a weird delayed analogue launch of a story. A way of critiquing tourist photography in Edinburgh while also looking at the fake and instant world of Snapchat and what that brings to tourist photography as a whole.

Well for some unknown reason, which perhaps no great mind shall ever solve, the film has turned out terrible. You can hardly see a thing and the weird colours and blends would fit neatly at home with the best of Expired Film Day.

Maybe it was the Jessops film. Maybe those extra 14 years had an effect. Perhaps just the fact that I was using a camera that ,at the very least , is over 60 years old. Here in all the wonder that they show are some of the photos with no interesting theory or critical thought as I am way past that. When will I learn not to use this camera.

Perhaps this horrible collection of tourist photographs from Edinburgh do say a lot about August in Edinburgh. It’s confusing, you’re not sure what you are looking at but it seems familiar. Some of it is interesting and worth a second or even third look whereas others can be skipped, perhaps even never looked at and instead should be deleted. Some of it is dark, a lot of it far too dark but there is plenty of it and it’s relentless. With the crazy colour, noise and grain.

That’s it perhaps this project is instead a representation of the Edinburgh Festivals in all their misery, heartache, financial ruin and confusion. Makes for a more sensible title that Analogue Snapchat anyway.

As I feel suitably bad for such a miserable project this month I have some pictures from Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin for you. My joy with 35mm film continues as I only got half a roll out of this before my film jammed in my Canon 600.

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