Jamie Livingston

The Jamie Livingston Photo Challenge

Following my recent post about Jamie Livingston’s fantastic photo a day documentary record of his life I am about to embark on a 36 day project.  Inspired by Jamie’s photos me and a chap from work, Olly, have challenged each other to a one film photo a day competition.

Using SLRs and only 50mm lenses we will shoot one frame of Fuji Superia 400 ASA film every day for 36 days. We are both used to the wonders that modern technology can offer and primarily use DSLRs.

Before I could take part I needed to get a film SLR that would work with the Canon 50mm 1.8 lens that I already have. Luckily the classifieds of Talk Photography were able to help and within a day of posting a wanted ad, and 10 quid later a Canon EOS 500 arrived at my door. I’ve shot a roll of expired film through it just to get the feel of it. Compared to my 5D the autofocus is somewhat vague, especially wider than F4 but apart from that performance is  satisfactory. The 500 is plastic and there is somewhat of a recoil action when firing the shutter but I’m sure I’ll get used to it.

There are a few parts of the challenge which will be tough:

  • I’m a big fan of digital processing so will need to take time to get the shot as good as it can be in the camera.
  • Once you have shot your frame for the day, that’s it, you’re committed.
  • Keeping consistency of shot over the 36 days, does one run with a common theme.
  • Not being able to adjust the film speed.
  • Not being able to adjust the white balance.
  • Not being able to chimp at the results.
  • Remembering to do it.

At the end of the 36 days (16th December) we will have our films developed and head off to the pub where a panel of our esteemed colleagues will subjectively judge our work. The looser coughs up for some drinks. I will of course scan and share the results.

Jamie Livingston 1956-1997

Through Talk Photography I was sent on an amazing journey tonight into the word of Jamie Livingston. Jamie decided to take a Polariod photo of his life every day from March 31, 1979 through October 25, 1997. The collection of photos provides a very moving insight to his life through these 18 years through to his untimely death from cancer.

The presentation of the website is just right, no words and the pictures speak for themselves. Set some time to visit the site here.

Thanks for the memories Jamie.