=409= Reflections: Film

I guess I am really a workaholic. I have a SUPER painful knee at the moment, but I really want to get what I need to do done. It is probably part of being a technical.

That aside, let me recount my analog photography experience.

Well, why did I want to shoot film? Well, it is a blend of wanting to try something new out and like awe for the amazing photos taken by people. One day, I will get my dream film camera, the Hasslebald XPan2 and shoot panoramic shots on the fly.

Film just has that very nice flawed look. I mean, you can see all the flaws with it. Some photos don’t even have anything in focus and it can look nice. There is a very distinct look that digital images tries to emulate, but just cannot get it perfectly. 

Not only that, because my camera has the ability to adapt to many different lenses. I sought after some vintage glass because I will at least get aperture control with those lenses. The first lens I got was the Canon FD 50mm f1.4. I got it together with a spoiled AT-1 body. Then I just started digging out some of the glass that my dad used to own.

Then recently, I saw many people on FB shooting film. Super nice Sia! So I sought after a good deal on Carousell. I bought two cameras, the Canon AE-1 with the 50mm f1.4 and the Yashica Electro 35 GT for like $70! Like Wah! Like the exteriors of the cameras are really good.

Due to an itchy hand and like an OCD mind, I kinda messed up the Electro… 😦 Oh well. I sent it in for a refurb. It is going to cost me like $180, but worth for the rangefinder and like black Colour. Hopefully can be fixed, I guess! 🙂

Then the AE-1 is now paired with my previous copy of the 50mm f1.4 because the current one has fungi in it, and looked a bit scary. Maybe I should go and get it cleaned as well.

Ok now to the actual shooting experience. Honestly, I really wanted to buy Tri-X for my first roll, but I asked Ruby Photo’s auntie which film I should shoot as a beginner, she recommend the Iford Pan. Then she told me that a better film will be the Ilford HP5+, hence I went for that! You know, just in case I mess up I won’t be wasting THAT much money.

I honestly don’t have much experience with film. So there were a lot of fear and uncertainty. Up till now, I don’t even know if my roll of film has pictures on them… :/

The experience was cool though! Like I get to say that I just got my first full frame camera! AHAHA! Having a film camera makes me cool too! 😎 I probably underexposed like the first few shots too. I mean I had no idea how to read the meter. Like the light meters of today is like, you try to balance between aperture and shutter speed, trying to keep it in the middle. The meter is you set the shutter speed and it will tell you what aperture to use. Very different process. Hopefully the images will turn out fine! 

Shooting film is an adventure! Having only 36 shots was really quite tough. My first shot was carefully composed and lit before I did any other shots. Learning how to work the camera around was important! Trying to make sure that everything is well composed before taking that shot.

Up to now, I think winding the film is just such a wonderful pleasure! Hearing the sound go Zek. WHOO!

Developing is crazy expensive though. Doing both developing and scanning is like $20…. D;

Like I can buy a very good memory card at high speeds or like multiple memory cards at low speeds at that price! A 16GB card will give me like 600+ raw files. Compared to 36 shots not including the film itself. No wonder film is like that now. Well, that was part of the reason why I bought the Ilford XP2 next, as the Ilford XP2 can be developed with the same colour process but still achieve black and white colours. Saving me some money. Oh yes, developing black and white images are more expensive than colour images, what is up with that?

I have seen a lot of images online though, the XP2 images really lack a ton of contrast. I need blacker blacks. So I am now just thinking about how to ensure that there is enough contrast for the film to render.

I am now going to find places/subjects that has a ton of difference between colours before I shoot.

Film is definitely not dead! I just have to learn how to work the medium.

Now I am just waiting for my film to finish developing. Thank God for Ruby Photo’s auntie being so nice as to let me leave a deposit in case that the roll of film has no photos on them.

Well I invested quite a lot of money into this already! I really wanna try some stuff out! 🙂 ok!

Thank God for such presents. I think I am just attracted to new/old way of doing things. Trying something new out and appreciating how the old process was like while learning how to bring that old process back into the new. Very cool.