Rediscovering film photography

Photographs used to be an art form. At least for me.
They were also a way to store holiday memories but that was a secondary meaning.

A single photo was a creative act.
First there was an active presence in a place to try to capture something of it.
Then there was intent in the choice of subject and angle.
After that came the forgetting and I would be back in the space outside.
And finally there was the excitement of getting a set of prints in my hands.

It was slow.
It was a little scary too.
But mostly it was fun, challenging, creative, and engaging.

It was a craft in which I was a full participant.

Getting a digital camera did not change much of that.
I was still full of intent, presence, and creativity. But it was less scary.

New doors opened and I explored a lot of avenues.
More than a decade later, I have lost my way a little bit.

I don’t create. I shoot, and it’s all too easy.

A month ago, I remembered the old SLR I found at my grand-parents house.
I was told I could keep it. So I did.
The camera was beautiful, an object that carried weight and memories.

I took care of it. I placed it on a shelve high above the ground and I kept it dusted and clean.

Until one Wednesday afternoon when I opened an old roll of film, loaded it in the camera and began shooting again.

Subject: Madrid, Spain

Camera: Minolta SRT 101 / Film: Lomography 400

Subject: Madrid, Spain

Camera: Olympus Pen EE2 / Film: Over ten years expired 200 film

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14 thoughts on “Rediscovering film photography

  1. So did you develop the negatives on your computer or have them printed? I am currently scanning and developing (on computer) a load of old black and white negatives of my grandfather’s. Only a small selection of them were printed originally and it is fascinating to see them come properly alive on screen.

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    • I brought the film to a lab not far from me. They developed and scanned it all for me. I didn’t really want to pay for prints as I had no idea what would come out.
      Even if I used to shoot film ages ago, I had this fear that somehow I had done something wrong this time around and shot only blanks.
      Eventually I’d like to develop my own film, but that’s likely going to have to wait.

      It must be quite something to discover those new old images. Did you remember any of them?

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  2. Oh i love those images. The film still looks great, even though it was expired. (I’ll definitely take a shot at the expired ones flying around somewhere in my flat as well. Who knows, maybe expired film really makes the riga soviet chic pop)
    I really like the way you frame your motives btw… Hadn’t looked at your (or any other blog for that matter) for so long, that I’m somehow just rediscovering it. My favourite is the guy on the red carpet ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • Thanks a lot ๐Ÿ˜€

      I was amazed at the expired film too! I didn’t even change the ISO settings of the camera (which is recommended by a lot of people online for expired film). That being said, I have shot expired film in the past and not always gotten those results. Once I had a lot of pink tinge to the photos (but I actually ended up really liking it). You definitely need to give it a go, it’s fun ^^

      The guy on the red carpet is one of my favourite too. He looked so sad and defeated I had to take a shot. But it was very last minute (I barely had time to do anything but press the shutter release button). I’m glad it didn’t turn out all that bad ๐Ÿ™‚

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  3. I’ve only recently tried out analogue photography for the first time (see my latest blog post), so it’s interesting to see other people’s experiences. You’ve managed to get fantastic shots there, thanks for sharing!

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  4. Beautiful photos !! I too am coming back to film photography after 20 years of shooting digital. I cut my teeth on film back in the days of instamatic, 110 and Polaroid. Iโ€™m now shooting again with my original 35nn SLR a Minolta X-370. I have felt your fears about feeling you screwed something up. Thatโ€™s what pushed me to digital where I used the instant feedback as a great learning tool. Now Iโ€™m back to film using all that I learned and feeling much more secure. Thanks for sharing.

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    • Thanks for leaving a comment ๐Ÿ™‚
      I’ve been shooting quite a few rolls of film since I wrote this post and I’m now a lot more secure in what I’m doing. But there’s still so much more to learn. Do you have a favourite film to shoot on?

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  5. Not a singular favorite. Like choosing your favorite candy. I shot a lot of TMax 3200 back in the day so Iโ€™m excited to try it again. Of the films I have been shooting in he past year or two my favs are the Kodak Porta 160,400 and Ektar 100. Shot a wedding with Fuji Superia 400, as a spectator. And recently bought some Svema films I am excited to try. How about you ??

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  6. Pingback: Currently loving – September 2018 | Beste Glatisant

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