Photography Stream

Photography Stream

Postby Phauss » Sat Nov 03, 2018 10:27 am

The Idea
So I mentioned a while back that I thought it would be fun to do a live stream from inside a dark room, developing film and printing images the old-fashioned way. Well, Katie and I (remember Blooddusk?) were talking the other day about exploring stuff, and I mentioned some of the Imgur albums I made from exploring a couple of mines and the closed-off areas of Alcatraz. She said I should start a Patreon for exploring those kinds of areas, printing the pictures I take there, and then making albums with detailed descriptions about what's in the picture, kind of like what I did with the Alcatraz shots. She says that people like that kind of stuff, and I'd like to be able to show people the stuff I find when I go poking around in the desert (or wherever I am), as well as showing people how film works.

So, a Patreon. As you know, I already have one, but it's basically just for the server and its associated costs. I think it would be a good idea to stop using it as a server admin and start using it more like a content creator. So, naturally, with a Patreon, there are generally reward tiers. I came up with straightforward reward tiers, like "patrons who donate 'x' amount will get a print of their choice off of an album" and scaling it from 4x5 prints all the way up to 30x36, depending on reward tier. But she had some great ideas for reward tier content, mostly behind the scenes stuff. It occurred to me that a lot of webcomic artists do something similar, like explaining how they ink, color, and shade their comics. Maybe I would have a rundown of how I put my dark room together, or explain the chemical processes that make film processing happen. The live stream would basically just be a camera watching what I'm doing while I talk to people in Discord, but the Patrons would get the "how". But then I thought that I would run out of "behind the scenes" material after a while. Well, what if I recorded video of the places I explored while I walked around and made a short clip of how I found it and why I chose to go there? That would be pretty cool, too, I think.

So the basic breakdown:
  • Start a Patreon
  • Have reward tiers
    • Behind the scenes
    • Video diary for the specific excursion
    • Maybe prints to limited number of higher tier patrons
  • Stream the film and image processing
  • Organize the images and write detailed descriptions
    • Make a dedicated website? Stick to Patreon's site? Host images on Imgur and link on Patreon? All the above?

Basic Structure
I like the idea of uploading the albums to Imgur and linking the album to Patreon, since that would increase exposure within the Imgur community. Imgur likes a good story and quality OC.

Reward tiers that get image prints are probably going to be no less than $15 since photo paper, chemicals, and mailing cost money. Those tiers will probably also be limited.

Streaming from a dark room would have its own challenges, namely that I can't have a computer screen turned on. I would probably make another dedicated Discord server for the stream and use voice sensitivity instead of push-to-talk. I would display on the stream that I can't read any chat and provide a link to the Discord server, probably limited to stream followers or something. Putting the Discord behind a Patreon reward tier for viewers would be too restrictive and likely off-putting. Maybe tying patrons to discord or twitch ranks would be the way to go for that.

The Darkroom
Naturally, all of this requires that I put together a dark room. I have a bathroom I don't use (since processing requires water and a drain) and I have all the equipment (film enlarger, bins, trays, etc.) It would simply come down to light-proofing the door and a small window over the shower. Using black curtains to cover the mirror and walls would be a good idea, because you don't want light reflecting off of surfaces and exposing the paper while you're using the enlarger. I want to try and use the shower as an area to print larger format images. 35mm film starts to lose resolution when printing larger than around 11"x14", but I have an old camera from the 30's that shoots using 120 film, or 6.5cm by 9cm, and I really want to use it. 120 film can potentially print up to wall-sized posters, if I'm willing to pay that much for paper. An 8"x10" print is about dollar per sheet, and a 30"x40" sheet is about $12, in packs of 50. If I had a paper cutter, I could get a 30in by 96ft roll for around $275. I could print images up to roughly 30"x41.5", using the 120 film aspect ratio. That's probably much further down the road, though. I would need much larger trays and more room than a bathroom can provide. 120 film printed on an 8"x10" would be incredibly crisp, anyways.

And so...
So with all that said, I thought I'd make this thread to keep track of my thought processes and also provide a way to bounce ideas off you guys.
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