January, As Seen From A Disposable Film Camera

Foggy morning on Chicago’s Navy Pier

Me: I feel like that was probably a good photo.
Mr Coates: Well, we’ll find out in two months. Or whenever you actually get the film developed.

In a now annual tradition, Friend Harper gives me a disposable film camera (this time with flash!) that I use for about a month. Half the film is wasted with the camera swishing in my purse, since movement winds it and takes accidental snapshots.

Two things I really enjoy about this exercise: The unknown — without a digital screen, I have no idea how these photos are gonna turn out. And the wait — the passage of time between the time the image was snapped, and when it’s finally developed, can change the photo’s interpretation.

January feels like last week … and a lifetime ago. No filter, obviously:

Selfie without a screen with Harper, in Chicago. Hilarious we somehow made the same facial expression even though we couldn’t see ourselves when snapping this.
Lunch with Friend Emily in Chicago
The other plus of this exercise is the cam creates great opportunities to joke about the olden days of the 1990s. Mr. Coates, who taught me high school social studies and is nine years older than me, “showed off” how he remembered how to turn on the flash on this camera device due to his advanced age.
View from my hotel room, SF
A stroll with friend Sarah in San Francisco
Impromptu birthday cake, San Francisco
The beach five minutes from my LA home — Playa del Rey
Luna makes a sand creation with some trash
Isa “drives”
Eva and her good gal pal, Lucy, at school dropoff

And ICYMI, the photos from when I did this last year.

Film

Friend Harper gives a goody bag to his guests that stay over at his place in Chicago. In the canvas tote are cool things like Harper-branded stickers and … a black and white disposable film camera, which I managed to use until Harper came to LA last week and I could hand off the camera to him to develop.

I love the hard-won look of these. And the time capsule element – there’s something special about film because it gives you such a finite amount of photos you can take. I wasted a lot by just taking nonsense photos of things like takeout boxes, for fun, but I also found this exercise in limits (only 24 chances) and patience (had to handoff the film to be developed, and then wait) really lovely. Baby Luna looked hot, as usual.

The only image of my kid I have, on film
Dragon dance over Lunar New Year weekend
The sinuglar Dan Sinker
Takeout boxes — I packed these!
When Friend John came to town and we walked to dinner along the canals
Boats
Selfie, without the aid of a screen

Some Notes and Photos from NewsFoo

The spawn, the spouse and I just got back from NewsFoo, an unconference put on by O’Reilly Media and the Knight Foundation. The 150-ish attendees are all involved in technology and/or journalism in an interesting way and I’m certain I was the dumbest person there.

If you’ve never unconferenced, the main idea is that at more traditional and scheduled conferences, all the best connections and interesting conversations end up happening at lunch or during coffee breaks. So unconferences aim to foster the coffee break vibe for an entire weekend by only setting session start and end times — the session topics are all pitched and plotted by the attendees after they arrive. No Powerpoints, no formal presentations, no nonsense. Below, some photos, and after the jump, notes from the Foo and links from my animations session.

Continue reading “Some Notes and Photos from NewsFoo”