Foray into film

One of my goals this year is to explore film photography. To that end, I have purchased several rolls and started my journey.  I began this roll of film last year, so the majority of these were shot in Silver Springs before the Big Move, and last week I finished off the roll in our new home. 

Obviously, the camera needs a servicing…there is a pronounced scratch line along the right (portrait) and bottom (landscape), as well some lint and dust. I’ll do that before I expose my next roll.

I had the film processed at The Dark Room, and these are the scanned photos they provided online for download. I will receive the negatives in the mail in a few days, and at that time, I’ll be able to scan them and perhaps do some additional processing.

I am loving the texture and depth of these, even if they aren’t particularly dynamic. Film: Kodak 100 T-MAX. Camera: Canon AE-1 with a 50mm fixed lens.

Click on photographs to get a closer look (larger image).

Silver Springs

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New home – shot with window light only.

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23 comments

  1. Every time I look at my N8008 (clean and functioning), the thought crosses my mind to shoot a roll or two . . . I then slap myself silly, and yell at the top of my voice “You. Have. Enough. Interests!!” and “Just look at the 20+ albums of photographs from them days”. The albums are actually folders with 50+ sleeved pages holding 8 photos back to back.

    Digital is what reignited my love of photography, and I’m not planning trips to the past, but I do understand the nostalgia factor, and wish you much enjoyment in your journey.

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    • My only experience with film was really in some point and shoots. I had a SLR back in the late 70s / early 80s and loved what I got out of that camera, even not knowing what the hell I was doing.

      This is going to be fun, and a learning experience.

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      • I should mention I missed many a shots that way. One of the frustrating things when I was shooting film was both missing stuff because I was trying to save shots, and also shooting one frame for something and finding out a week later that the photo was crap (blur, focus, etc.).

        For a long while, although I worked at it with the same focus as I do everything, I thought I was just a crappy photographer. Especially when I would see photos in magazines of the same stuff I was shooting, and theirs were so much better (way, way better). I actually lost interest in photography other than to document trips.

        It was not until many years later that I read an interview with a well-known nature photographer, and I stared at this one sentence (paraphrasing):

        “I may shoot shoot 600 photos a session, and have maybe one or two I like. Those are the ones I sell. Sometimes I have none.”

        I could not afford that much film or processing. Digital changed all that . . . the funny part now is that I may shoot 200 photos, and only a few are throwaways. In that regard, both the equipment and the way the photo is captured and saved are vastly superior to what I had in the 80’s and 90’s.

        That, of course, is predicated on what one wants . . . some people like the look of film, and some do amazing things with it. I just know I’m not one of them.

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  2. Yay for film! I highly recommend learning how to develop your own B&W because it is so easy and so so much cheaper. I like the darkroom for cheap 120 color processing but Im pretty sure they just auto scan as many times my images come back with frame lines. 😦 But for $10 I guess I can’t complain!

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    • I will get my negatives which will allow me to manipulate them in Lightroom or Photoshop. For now I am not interested in setting up my own darkroom, but who knows what may happen down the road. Right now I’m in experimental mode, and will be trying out different kinds of film to start.

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  3. Some great images and yes, for me, B&W on film just has a depth and finesse that Digital B&W nearly has but not quite the same (though I wouldn’t argue with those who either say they cannot spot the difference). But having had a working life in film I certainly wouldn’t want to swap back from digital, apart from for the odd bit of fun and there is no harm in that. Even though I am long in the tooth working with colour film at 10 ASA(ISO) with no error latitude on 5″x4″ Field Cameras, and when not in the field in the darkroom processing the results and loved it!……I have taken the Rose Tinted Glasses off and would not go back. Thank goodness someone invented Digital. Have fun and I do look forward to seeing more of your ‘film’ explorations.

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    • I want to have some experience with film in my “tool box.” Sounds like you and Disperser already have that experience, and I imagine it makes you better rounded as photographers. This doesn’t mean I’m giving up digital. Not At All. This is purely a creative exploration.

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  4. I used to shoot films some years ago and also developed my own films at home. Now I use only digital camera. Film photography is rater expensive, so I found out that you have to think more and plan your photograph carefully when you use film. Results could be fantastic though specially using medium or large format camera.

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    • Yes, it is that “slow down and make sure” part of film photography that I’m looking forward to. I know I should do the same with digital, but the the very nature of it allows me not to do it.

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  5. Love the second shot. I’ve always loved film, and only now is digital beginning to approach the sharpness of an analog SLR. I still have my old Minolta (the 3rd one I owned) though I’ll probably never use it again. The only limiting factor was cost. I’d parse out my 36 photos (if I was feeling rich) and really had to make hard choices. It forces you to think more and compose in your head. It also requires that you really concentrate on the technical aspects.

    Now? I’ll just fire off 300 shots a day, and hope for the best. Still, you couldn’t make me deal with darkroom chemicals at gunpoint today.

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