Analog Summer

Archival Recordings 23

Analog Summer
Los Angeles, 2024.

I like to think of myself as platform agnostic when it comes to my photography practice. I use whatever format suits my vision and that means that I go back and forth between film and digital cameras quite often. I know that I could get a lot more “engagement” online if I published hot takes about the perceived superiority of one or the other but honestly, I think that shit’s stupid. I’m a firm believer in people shooting with whatever tool works best for the task at hand and that is a personal decision. So I love shooting with my Ricoh GR3X and I also feel like Portra 160 is the best film ever made. Both things can be true. 

Los Angeles, 2024.

Enough ranting…this newsletter is about a pattern that I noticed in my own work. Turns out that there have been several years when the only time that I shot any film has been during the summer. I initially found that to be strange but the more I think about it the more sense it makes. My aesthetic is built around a certain color palette that is easiest to capture in the summer. The intense, bright L.A. sunlight combined with the cloudless blue sky as a backdrop renders scenes that evoke childhood memories riding my bike through Hollywood and Mid-City. Although it is definitely possible to capture this somewhat intangible vibe using digital cameras, I have found that it pops in a very specific way when captured on film. Like I said earlier, it’s not that one method is superior to the other but there are advantages to using a specific tool to achieve a specific outcome. For me, this is one of those times.

There is one way that this summer differs from previous ones; the addition of a film scanner to my workflow. The cost of shooting film has been greatly reduced for me and that is always a blessing. I also have come to enjoy the slowed down process of selecting, scanning, and editing my work. It provides more opportunities for me to stare at the images I make and be more purposeful about the finished product. In general, I have found this to be a good thing for me during these tumultuous times we are living in.

Now to the work I’m sharing this week: I took these photographs with my Yashica T4 Zoom (paired with Kodak Portra 160), a pretty slept-on but really exceptional camera. The images are a perfect example of the peak Los Angeles summer light that neighborhoods throughout the city are bathed in during the early afternoon hours.

Archival Recordings Photoessays

Time for a small bit of housekeeping... I have begun adding photo essays to this project. I have two so far and will be adding more over the course of the year. You can access them directly here:

Photoessays - Archival Recordings
Photography by Kwasi Boyd-Bouldin.

That's all I have for this edition of Archival Recordings. Thanks for readings as always and stay safe friends.

-Kwasi Boyd-Bouldin