February 3, 2017 § Leave a comment
Every New Year it gets me. Like clockwork, the creative slump drags me down every January. I know some people who enter the New Year full of life and hope. The gyms get busier and the bars get quieter, but historically January has always been a royal pain in the ass for me. I just get a complete block on any creative ideas. Much like authors can suffer for years with writers block, this grabs hold of me and seemingly never wants to let me go.
It’s not that I haven’t tried in the past, but every idea is met with a depressing “what’s the point” attitude. Or a feeling and thought that it wouldn’t be saying anything. It’s a hard chain to break and usually for this month I only ever use my camera for “work”.
This year I was determined to break the slump. I didn’t want to go big but I wanted to feel creative. I wanted to create something that I liked, that interested me, regardless of whether I eventually shared it with an audience.
I came to the conclusion that the best way to do this was to shoot something I’d enjoy, without necessarily worrying about its relevance, context or artistic merit. With that in mind I booked myself and my Wife two nights away in a city centre hotel in Birmingham. I stocked up on Fuji Instax film and decided I’d document our drunken fueled weekend getaway. As soon as we got there and I started I instantly felt good about the project. It was great shooting something for myself rather than a client.
In the end I did share 30 of the of the instant photographs and I’m quietly (or not so much now) pleased with them. (You can view the photos here) Not only are they a great reminder of our time away but they have a feel and a look to them I love. They look like part of a documentary photo essay. Are they saying anything? No. Does that matter? No. Because I returned and felt that the annual creative slump had this year passed me by. Which in fairness, with a book to get finished this year is pretty important.
If you’re creatively suffering, whether you’re a photographer, writer, painter or any other artist my advice would be just to create. Don’t worry about what it’s for or what the point is. Just create. Shoot, write, paint. Anything. The only way I have personally found to defeat the slump is to ‘do’…
August 20, 2014 § Leave a comment
Double Exposed Polaroid 600 – Circa. 2000.
Nearly everything I shoot these days is in digital because let’s face it; it’s easier, cheaper, quicker and often (usually) more commercially viable. Bridge cameras, DSLR’s and iPhones have all helped bring the digital revolution to the forefront of photography. It’s nothing new. But it leaves me cold. More people than ever now take photographs. This is a good thing I realise but I think it takes away the love of it all. I realise I’m probably not explaining this too well but there is something so unique, and so special about shooting with a film or Polaroid camera.
I’ve recently moved house, and this gave me a great excuse and to sort through boxes and boxes of 35mm negatives and exposed Polaroids. I looked through them all, and they just seem to hold so much more substance. They are real. Printed in front of me. There is in my opinion an art to them which will forever elude digital photography.
I’m aware there are many photographers that still shoot in film, but in truth it’s not something I do enough of and I need to change that. I need to feel like a “photographer” again and in my humble opinion shooting with film is such a large part of that.
I decided that I needed some personal projects to work with to use film again so I started to look through the internet to gather some inspiration. I came across a great article on fstoppers.com by David Geffin titled ‘Why I’ve gone back to shooting film, and why you should too’ It essentially told me what I already felt and I found myself nodding in agreement as he suggested that our DSLR’s have “turned us into the equivalent of photographic sloths”
I then watched a film which I had been meaning to watch for a while called ‘Finding Vivian Maier’ who was a Nanny in America but had a somewhat secretive life as a street photographer. I’d urge anyone with an interest in film photography to watch this film.
For me, I’ve decided that for the first time in years, next month I will shoot a model completely on Impossible Project Polaroid 600 film. I’m looking forward to this shoot more than any other I have done in a serious amount of time. I have also been wondering for some time how I could make my 2nd California book different to the first. I am now starting to consider shooting a large portion of the book on Medium Format film as well as Impossible Project…
Thinking about film, and how I can implement it has kind of taken me back to where I started and in all honesty it has helped me regain my love for the art form which is photography.
October 15, 2013 § Leave a comment
This is an image from circa 2004 – it’s a Polaroid of a nude woman (Jenni Knight) taken on extremely expired film.
The high quality digital scan at 30 x 30 cm is now available on Saatchi Online (limited edition of 10)
The California trip is now just a few weeks away – so to keep everything in one place I have opened up a tumblr blog for the trip. So far it has images and interviews about all of the preperation etc. Whilst I’m away I’ll keep it updated daily with new photographs etc – which I’ll continue to do up until the book launch.
You can find the mini-site here.
March 7, 2012 § Leave a comment
The above Polaroid is from my new project ‘Expired’. The project consists of 50 images all taken with Polaroid 600 film that expired in 1999.
Some of the results are really cool, and the photos feature portraits, landscapes and objects. As soon as I’ve finished scanning all of the images in I’ll upload them all to my website at www.carlbeebee.com
On a seperate note, for those interested, please find below a very shore teaser trailer for my upcoming 2012 exhibitions.
January 5, 2012 § Leave a comment
Sorry about the lack of posts recently, as usual the Christmas period has been a very busy one…
I shot this photograph above a few weeks ago, with a FujiFilm Instax 210 – there’s still something about the look of Instax film that I really love…
The NY exhibition on the 27th is shaping up nicely – all the work is now over there ready to be hung at the end of next week (hopefully).
In all there’s 20 brand new, never before exhibited pieces of work as well as some really cool video visuals.
For the first time there will be live tweets from the exhibition so please make sure you follow @carl_beebee for some cool pics and info.
I’m working on some more new stuff next week so hopefully the updates will start to be a little more frequent on here…
Peace & Love
October 5, 2011 § Leave a comment
I shot this shop window on holiday using the Fuji Instax 200 I’d picked up off eBay. It’s the first Fuji Instax I’ve ever used – I really like it, I prefer the size of these photos to the new Polaroid 300.
I quite often find shop windows, photographically interesting. Full of items that would never look right anywhere else except behind a big, glass window…
October 4, 2011 § 2 Comments
I found this article recently in a book called ‘FotoLog’ – I’d be interested to hear your thoughts.
‘PROFESSIONAL PHOTOS ARE NOT BLURRY!’ the purist shouts, screwing his SLR onto a tripod as he lines the family up for a portrait. ‘Red-eye is ugly!’ he recites, swivelling the flashgun so it bounces off the ceiling. ‘Wide-angle lenses make your nose look big!’ But there a are a few gaps in the purist’s impressive photographic knowledge. He doesn’t know that Terry Richardson shoots magazine covers with a cheap compact camera, that Ryan McGinley makes red-eye sexy, or that Wolfgang Tilmans won the Turner Prize with images containing flaring, blurring and camera shake.