I recently acquired a Polaroid SX-70 and binged on buying film from The Impossible Film Project. I’m five shots into this thing, and wondering whether I’ll get the hang of it. I understand that Impossible Film is quite sensitive to light, so I shot a picture (with the recommended exposure setting) and immediately shielded and put it away in a pocket close to my body. I am seeing firsthand that Impossible Film does not like the cold. The photo below was shot at Lincoln Center (during Fashion Week), in New York – however, it was about 40 degrees but felt colder with the wind, so I’m sure that have had something to do with the result. I’m going to have to put my new little toy away until the weather warms up, just enough.
The first time picked up and shot the Mamiya 645 I got off eBay – I got nothing. Why? Because I didn’t read the manual, didn’t read that I had to turn some little knob and that only THEN would the film would wind to the proper place, my exposure counter would be set to one and the camera would do its thing. Yeah – quite humorous and once I figured that out I realized that perhaps living in a 21st century digital world is making me dumber (who finds things out on their own anymore- just google, bing, tweet and the answer will magically appear).
Once I figured THAT out, I happily packed my camera for a small vacation across the country in San Francisco. And after seeing these pictures, I realize why film shooters love their film. Sure, they’re not perfect (would have maybe liked them overexposed by one more stop maybe) but there is such a range of colors and detail – amazing. Had I shot these with my Canon 60D, I bet I’d be spending a good while in Photoshop tinkering and trying to get the bright skies or the darker details properly exposed- and even then still left slightly unsatisfied.
These shots are right from the lab – no post processing! I metered with the on camera meter, and then overexposed one stop.
The photos below were shot with Fuji 400H. Nice film – using the on camera meter, I think maybe I could have overexposed more. No? Yes? I still have a few rolls of this 120 film left, so I need to further experiment. I see how the colors and contrast are quite punchy. I remember reading in Jonathan Canlas‘ FIND book that Fuji was good for blues and greens, so I made sure to use it when I knew I would be surrounded by those hues (that’s not all I learned, lol).
The next set of pictures were shot with Kodak Portra 400 (ok I love the results of this film, I shall be getting more!). Perhaps it’s time to invest in a light meter – I would have liked these exposed some more too.
I ordered a Diana+ camera a while back and haven’t really gotten much use out of it – just because I know that being a “toy” camera, all kinds of good and bad stuff can happen to the pictures. However, after finally getting back the one roll it took me a few months to finish and send off for developing, I think I will have to take a day or weekend and shoot with this to see what kind of weird and possibly interesting shots I get. What I captured with this roll seems pretty ordinary and unexciting – but it felt weird aiming a plastic camera at things. I did manage though, to get a little double exposure in the first shot below!
I’m not going to lie- I forgot to take the cap off several times, and would forget if I had wound the camera up or not in between shots and I probably moved the lever once or twice from “N” (normal) to “B” (bulb) mode. I also kept forgetting about a few other aperture and focus settings. Perhaps this is why I’ll personally keep shooting film for a while – so I can learn to slow down, think about a shot, compose, breathe…you get the point.
Took a while to get developed, but here are some shots from one roll of Kodak Portra 400 shot on a Minolta x-700. For the last few shots taken at Penn’s Landing on a very cloudy day, I used the on camera meter and then overexposed by one stop. As fun as it is to be working with film, it’s frustrating to not see what you’re getting right away. I try to keep some basic photography rules in the back of my mind, but still…I don’t know exposures off the top of my head so I’m always wondering “will this shot come out the way I see and envision it?” Guess why all I keep reading when it comes to film is, “practice and see for yourself!” At least these came out better than my last roll!
Next few shots are from earlier in May at Penn’s Landing, Philadelphia, PA.