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I can't even imagine managing to do this!

I came across a link online to the work of photographer Martin Wilson.
He is freaking amazing!

Here is his description of what he does and why:
Make every picture count

Christmas 1973- I’m pretty sure it didn’t snow. This was the year I was given my first camera and if it had snowed, I’m certain I would have taken a picture of it.
I was 8 and my brother was 9 and we were both given identical cameras as a present. They were coal black and petrol blue – the kind of cheap oily plastic that wouldn’t glue back together when we eventually dropped them and they cracked. We were also given a roll of film in a Kodak yellow packet. My dad, worried that we would run out of film by boxing day, gave us a piece of advice; “make every picture count.” He would repeat this mantra every time we were about to release the shutter and I think it became so deeply ingrained that I’ve been following his advice ever since.

That’s probably why my work looks like it does today. I’ve arrived at a way of working where I put every frame on display. The entire film is visible. The numbers underneath each frame show that each picture is taken consecutively. Perhaps subconsciously I’m trying to prove to my dad that I haven’t wasted a single shot.

My pictures are painstakingly created frame by frame on 35mm film. I get the whole film developed, scan it, then piece the final image together on the computer, making a large contact sheet. It's only when the completed film strips are laid out side by side in the contact sheets that the final image appear.

Each work usually takes months to complete, as each frame is obsessively taken in sequence. No pasting together after the event, no cheating in Photoshop!
If I make a mistake or take a frame out of place I start the film again from the beginning.

The works are all records of real journeys, the visual remnants of hours walking or cycling round town, bringing to life the unheard voices of the city.

This is my favorite of the images he has on his site:

It's only £170 if someone wants to buy it for me!

I just can't even imagine doing this. I had an assignment last time I took a photo class where we had to take one roll of film and shoot it in order so that the contact sheet made one picture. I HATED that assignment. I loved the concept but I just couldn't get it to work the way I wanted. If I have time tomorrow at work I'll scan the negatives from my attempts at it.

I was impressed by the fact that he doesn't "cheat" by using any of the letters he finds a second time, until I noticed that the T in the and the 1st T in street are in fact the same one. It's still awesome though!

I would imagine that this was one of the simpler ones, since the years are all in order. It's still an amazing amount of painstaking detail though.


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 15th, 2010 10:14 am (UTC)
I something similar to the first one on display at a festival we went to a couple of years ago - not sure if it was the same guy but it was certainly the same idea. the photographer had used pictures of double-yellow parking lines to make up the song lyric 'they paved paradise, put up a parking lot', all from single uninterrupted 35mm rolls.

Utterly brilliant. If I had £170 I'd buy myself one. If I had £340, I'd buy one for you too.
Sep. 15th, 2010 06:40 pm (UTC)
Yep, it's the same guy! That one's on his website too.
Sep. 15th, 2010 10:54 am (UTC)
That is amazing! I don't think I could be patient enough to do that, or plan it that well.
Sep. 15th, 2010 06:42 pm (UTC)
I'd have to draw it all out before hand, and I'd probably still mess up!
I don't use my film camera these days though, so I would be able to dedicate it to a long term project like this though... hmmmm
This has me pondering other long term things one can do with one roll of film...
Sep. 15th, 2010 07:46 pm (UTC)
it's got me thinking...
Sep. 15th, 2010 12:27 pm (UTC)
Those are awesome. Thanks for posting.
Sep. 15th, 2010 06:54 pm (UTC)
You're welcome. :)

How's life in Atlanta?
Sep. 16th, 2010 04:11 am (UTC)
Improving. Thanks for asking. :)
Sep. 16th, 2010 01:36 am (UTC)
Wow! I'm in awe. I'm always happy when a picture's in focus.
Sep. 16th, 2010 07:02 am (UTC)
that is freaking awesome work he does.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )



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