It has been a while since my last blog entry. It wasn’t because I stopped taking pictures by any means. My routine of trekking around town stayed fairly consistent. Instead of focussing on writing for my website, I simply posted some of my shots on Instagram and Flickr. I also “rediscovered” black and white after a few months of absence. Colour film is flexible since I could simply convert it to black and white in post-processing. Having colour film would minimize the chance of missing a shot to illustrate the wonderful colours of my subjects, and it simply represents most of our visual reality; however, As I finished up the last batch of C-41 chemicals for developing colour negatives, I decided to tackle my Ilford HP5 Plus film pyramid annoyingly taking up space on my bookshelf. I bought what seemed like a truck load of Ilford last year in preparation for a trip to Europe. I chickened out last minute and took my digital camera instead. Now that I am back on the B&W bandwagon, I pretty much burned through all my Ilford HP5 Plus in the last few weeks. I put my last couple of rolls to good use as I headed out during daylight hours on Halloween to see who is out and about.
The weather certainly cooperated on Halloween with golorious sunshine. I am sure the law enforcement agencies prayed for a downpour to keep the crowd under control. The officers most certainly earned their paycheques that night. Perhaps it was because I didn’t stay out late enough, I didn’t see as many costumes on the streets when compared to last year. I did manage to see Chewbacca wasting away on his cellphone, a giant banana pushing a dolly, and Pikachu bouncing happily down the street. Those weren’t my favourite shots of the Halloween faithful. My favourite shot was a picture that was lacking in photography fundamentals with it’s blurred depiction of a lone male sitting on a bench in his costume.
I don’t like this picture because of it’s a display of my photography mastery in being able to hold the camera steady with the appropriate shutter speed. It clearly demonstrates quite the opposite. I like the picture because of the feeling it gives me. The man looked empty while sitting on the bench. His costume was slapped together with plain cardboard boxes and only the mask was coloured with either felt pens or crayons. There was an unexplainable sense of loneliness and sadness to me. It certainly made more of an impact to me than any giant walking banana, however funny it may be.
The annual Halloween ritual is an interesting concept to me. If I have a nickel for every time someone tells me that Halloween is their favourite day of the year, I would have a bunch of nickels of course! The point is that people LOVE themselves some Halloween. With some of the elaborate costumes out there, it’s easy to think that people’s affinity for the day is partly because they could be anyone they want. Maybe, just maybe, Halloween is the only day that people could be who they actually are instead.