A little over a month has passed since I posted my first update for my rural Iowa project. Like all long-term projects, it slowed down as time passed, especially after I ran out of small town near Iowa City that I could easily shoot.
I am mostly satisfied with the results. I can see some themes really starting to emerge in the series and hope to continue the project long-term. Unfortunately, the university’s Hasselblad is not available to me except when I am enrolled in a photography class, so I won’t be able to continue the project over winter break. This wouldn’t be a problem except that I want to stick with square format images and don’t have another square format camera. I’m a bit of a purist in that I’d like to stick with film and the Hasselblad’s original 1:1 aspect ratio throughout the entire project.
The best part about choosing film for this project, for me, was my rate of success. I shot 11 rolls of film (132 exposures). There are about 16 good images that I plan to keep in my show which means I am happy with about a 12 percent of the total images I made. It might not sound like a lot, but that’s much higher than I achieve in digital.
Photographer Mason Resnick made this meme that describes my experience exactly.
To be fair, I do shoot film pretty conservatively only making about one or two images of a single subject before moving on, but I think this is a benefit and I’m a better photographer for it. Limiting my number of exposures helps me make more deliberate, consistent work and really develop a noticeable style.
I still have some cropping and editing to do before I can call this project finished (for now). Plus, I need to write an artist statement and figure out the order I want to hang them at the group show. But you can expect the full project in order with an artist statement on my project page under the Work tab in the next week.