One great (or terrible depending on your demeanor) thing about the internet is not just the ability to bring like minded people together. But giving those people a means to set up their own sources of content creation through small collectives and groups. Enter one that has pushed the boundaries of most through gallery shows and an online hub where submitted images can be seen by photographer or sorted by content. The Indisposable Concept seeks to bring people closer together and see what images are possible through the most basic of cameras – disposables.
I remember disposables fondly form my childhood as I’m sure most of our readers do as well. Going to summer camp? Grab a disposable. Forget your camera at the family reunion? Grab a disposable. Documenting a car crash? Better hope there was a disposable in your emergency kit. These cameras were everywhere, and why shouldn’t they be? They were small, easy to use, produced decent results in a time when the market was filled with sub par 35mm compacts and barely cost more than they roll of film itself. The irony of course comes in to play when disposable cameras have out lived their usefulness by a wide margin. They are still hot sellers comparatively for both Kodak and Fuji. Chinese companies buy up used ones to re-load with film and send back out into the marketplace. So upon discovering what The Indisposable Concept does, I knew I had to take part.
I won’t get into a dissertation on the fun of having such a simple camera. As they are close relatives of the toy cameras we all know today. But what I will say is that a road trip down 101 was the perfect time to use one. It was spread out over a week itself, I knew I had roughly 3-4 images a day, minus the self portrait they require you to take. What worried me was would I fill each one properly? Would each day be well represented or should I not worry about it as these were the things that caused me stress while shooting The 365 Project. I moved in strides, shooting what I felt would represent the trip at first. But then something strange happened as we moved forward. It wasn’t about representing the time, it was representing whatever the hell I wanted to shoot.
We have discussed this on the Pdexposures podcast before. People get so caught up in seeing these fleeting glimpses of happyness via social media. Why? Because that’s all we share, it’s all we get validation for. No one likes a photo of you sitting at work actually working (how that photo is taken I’m not sure), but add the caption of “Today is so slow, get me to sunshine ” sure makes you seem more interesting. The same goes for photos. Portraying to the outside world the things we do via what photographs we share in an artistic manor to make us seem more well rounded. I’m guilty of it, so is anyone who has ever shared one photo over another online. Hell it’s going on in this blog post with what images you’re seeing and what ones you will have to click the link below to see. This is then compounded when we are limited to 24 shots, all of which will be shared. Each one seems to count so much more.
But you know what? I stopped caring. I started shooting. And I got some great shots. I was able to break free not because the camera was simple and I didn’t have to worry about settings, I was able to get away because of the limited film inside. What happened happened and I couldn’t take back any shots or hide them with a better version. This may not be the norm for people who have participated in The Indisposable Concept, and that’s ok too. I’m just glad I got to enjoy my trip.