There is at present in my camera, in my Diana F+ fitted out with the 135 film back and the panoramic-with-sprocket-holes mask a found roll on 400 ISO AgfaColor. It came to me as so much does, in a box of vaguely remembered origin. It’s two thirds spent now, guessing it was not previously exposed or fogged. Being unsure of the state of the film I was little concerned when I lost a frame here or there as it tumbled about in bags and desk drawers; fire a frame once and again; fire a frame of the ground.
I like the ground. I don’t have to worry what I might see, not on the ground. That could be why making photos of the ground started for me. I propose it should continue because it’s interesting. Landscapes look up and out, scenic overlooks, vistas. Dull. I’m closer to the ground. I think about the ground. I look at the ground. I touch it, feel it, hear it. It supports me and one day, protesting and unwilling, I’ll disappear entirely within it.
I propose to make pictures of the ground.
For the project not any camera will do, not any lens. Something that focuses close, real close. A lot of lenses can focus down to a meter, that’s not close enough. A meter’s far enough that there’ll be the temptation to put the camera up, to look through it. Looking through a viewfinder is never good for anyone.
So use a wide angle lens, put a close up lens on it. The Diana F+ has a 55mm that focuses at 17cm with the close up supplemental lens in place. That’s a bit close but it’s better than most other options. That’s the lens then. For the first roll, I think a square format, but not 120 film, the 135 film back then, and the square mask, that’ll do more frames on a roll and that’s good seeing as the ground changes so often.
Yes, when I finish this roll the project will begin. Square frames, of the ground, from a hands distance. Until then I re-read The Secret-Life of Dust last night when I couldn’t sleep and I’ve just started The Ground Beneath Us.