Bryce Twyman

The Film Journal

Saturday, September 15, 2018

In February of 2005, a few months after we moved to Australia from the UK, and just days after my ninth birthday, my family and I set out on what would be the biggest adventure of my childhood – a road trip that would take us around the coast of Australia.

During the trip, my parents and grandad made me keep a journal, and each day I had to make an entry. I had to recall the distance we’d travelled that day, where we were, how we were all feeling, what the weather was like, and, of course, what I saw and did.

At the time, I resented them for making me do this. I would dread sitting down at the end of the day to write it. It wasn’t until many years later that I appreciated the reasoning behind making me write this journal – it would provide me with a means of remembering the trip as I grew up.

It’s the enjoyment I get out of reading this old travel journal that has me inspired to start this new journal.

I wanted it to be less like a blog though, and more like reading through an actual journal page-by-page. Keeping this in mind, I designed the entries to be presented in chronological order, all tied together by an index that features nothing more than the date and title of each entry – no thumbnails, no excerpts. When you finish reading an entry, you can turn the page either way and read the next or previous one, with the option to leave a note on the current entry before you move on.

But why shoot film? Because shooting film is fun! The photos feel nostalgic. Plus, it usually takes me a while to get through a single roll of film because of how conscious I am of wasting an exposure. It’ll usually take me so long that I’ll forget the specifics of what I shot by the time I get it developed, making the photos a neat little surprise for even myself.

Rolls of film aren’t cheap either, so it also forces me to think deeper about what I’m taking photos of. With every photo I take I have to ask myself, “is this moment worth capturing?” If so, what’s the best way to capture it? In a way, it should make me a much better photographer, or at least reduce the amount of crappy photos I take when I get the 1DX II out.

So that’s the drive behind this journal. To document my life through film photography and give myself something to look back on when I’m older. I intend to maintain this journal for the rest of my life. Perhaps one day one of my great grandchildren will stumble across it and get the same enjoyment as I do looking through old photo albums and home videos.

I’m excited to get this started, this is something I’ve wanted to start for a while, but never got round to it. But given I’m moving out of home next week, there hasn’t been a better time to start it.

Hand-written travel journal
Hand-written travel journal
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