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27 Frames – Dylan Gordon

Welcome to our 27 Frames series. We sent 27 single use cameras out to some of our favorite photographers, they shot stuff with it, then mailed it back to us. We developed the film and are sharing the results with you (and the photographers) now. In this instant, digital age, we want to pay homage to a snapshot photo process we grew up with ourselves — waiting for the film to develop and being surprised by the results. These 27 Frames belong to Dylan Gordon.

Who are you? Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Dylan Lucas Gordon, I’m currently on a plane flying over India on my way back from riding bikes across Bhutan for the last few weeks. I just turned 24 years old a couple days ago and currently based out of a little warehouse / studio up in Ventura, CA. 

How did you first get into photography?

I originally fell into photography because of traveling for skateboarding. I found my moms old Canon A1 in a cabinet at our old ranch house and fell in love with messing around with capturing my friends when we’d be on the road or on the ranch. 

Film or digital?

Because of the nature of my work I shoot primarily digital for clients but I always love to play around with different film types for fun and personal projects. Most of the time when I travel I bring 2-3 film mediums. I’ve been completely obsessed with Polaroids lately, which just the other day my favorite type was discontinued… I may have cried a bit haha. This year I plan to publish a coffee table book of entirely Polaroid work. 

When was the last time you used a single use (disposable) camera?

It’s probably been almost a year since I last played with a disposable. Which is a shame as they’re so damn easy and fun. The images have such a distinct aesthetic and feel that I love. I need to break them out more often. 

What did you decide to shoot with your camera for this project?

For this project I bounced around so many ideas and concepts that I sort of pinned myself into a corner and ran out of time. Those thoughts of wanting to do something unique and interesting actually manifested themselves into a new side project that I want to continue to build for a while. So, for this one I ended up keeping the disposable on the dash of my van during a little road trip up the coast to celebrate New Years Eve with a few friends. I packed the van with a few boards, plenty of beers, warm blankets, a motorcycle and hit the road. Good times. 

Did you have any interesting experiences along the way?

Whiskey pulls around the fire, frozen fingers, bad waves, epic waves, finger over the lens, coffee, dirt scrambles with amazing folks to bring in the new year, best tri-tip sandwiches in the world, solo seshes at a couple of my favorite waves, Coors Banquets cheersing into the sunsets, solo drives up the coast, windows down, dried mango slices &  good tunes, so much coffee, solo single track scrambles, more coffee… And then probably some more coffee. It was a fun couple days… I kept forgetting I had the camera in my front pocket the whole way, was having too much fun. 

What was the biggest challenge (if any) you had with the project?

Deciding what to capture was by far the hardest thing. Having the camera constantly around but being so particular about what I wanted to show was incredibly difficult. I often held back from capturing great moments thinking there would be better later.  It’s easy to take the images, but to be selective about how you want to tell a story in one take is a huge challenge. I ended up getting so caught up in being there in those moments that I constantly forgot to use it and ended up blasting in short intervals when I remembered (laughs). 

What was your favorite image from the roll?

My favorite probably would have been the shot of Sammy on his bike under the huge oak tree, but of course my finger was over the lens (laughs)! So my favorite is probably the pulled back image of our campsite on the hillside. It’s timeless, crisp and pure. It instantly takes me back to that feeling of contentment as I wandered the hill at sunrise contemplating the new year to come. Or the image of the clustered cuddle fest in the tent where it’s just a mad heap of blankets and pillows and you can only make out a single face and a puppy in the mix. Good friends, good times. Best way to bring in a new year. 

Check out more of Dylan’s work here:

Dylan Gordon

Special thanks to Dexter’s Camera in Ventura for developing all of the film for the 27 Frames project. If you are a photographer who loves film and have never visited their shop, go there now, they’re the best.

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