A humbling return to film
Old 10-19-2018   #1
Guth
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A humbling return to film

I've posted up elsewhere around here about digging my film camera out of storage after sitting for more than a decade — resolving myself to try to recapture the passion that I once had for photography. Somewhere over time when I transitioned from shooting film to carrying nothing more than my iPhone around with me that passion was lost. It's now been a few weeks since I loaded up the first roll of film and so far I only have two developed rolls to show for it. I've come to realize that I have much to learn (or re-learn as the case may be).

My wife and I travelled to Victoria B.C. for a few days and I figured that would be the perfect occasion to kickstart my return to film and reacquaint myself with the process of using an all manual camera. Intended to shoot more photos than I did, but I was trying to concentrate more on capturing moments in time involving personalities rather than just my regular photos of places. My goal was to end up with one "keeper" per roll of film. Sadly, upon review none of the images did all that much for me. I know that I missed out on some good opportunities because I just couldn't insert myself into someone else's moment. I'm definitely going to have to work on this. The one bright note is that I did fare better with basic operation of the camera than I was expecting (not that I was expecting all that much). Yesterday evening I purchased a basic scanner and have come to realize that most of my learning curve is going to involve acquainting myself with the scanning process. I must admit that I have been notably humbled by my return to film photography. With that in mind, I tip my cap to all of you who have shared your images here as many of these have brought me both enjoyment and encouragement. Here are a couple of images from my lousy scans that reflect where I'm currently at.





On a side note, one of the online resources that I've recently discovered is a New Zealand based photographer named Paul Smith. Earlier this week h posted a video about why we should keep film photography alive that I found to be quite timely given my own journey. Hopefully some of you might find it enjoyable. By the way, none of this to say that I have any problems with digital photography. I'm merely documenting my own personal experience. Cheers all.
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Old 10-19-2018   #2
Pentode
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I'm nearing 30 years into my journey with film photography and I still hope for one keeper per roll.

You'll get back into the swing of things faster than you think. It's like falling off a bike.
We're all our own worst critics. Don't be so hard on yourself. For what it's worth, I like the second image you posted.
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Old 10-19-2018   #3
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First image; I can't fit the whole image on my laptop monitor. When I view the photo without the sky and without the mottled concrete in the foreground I like the image and it brings in a smile. I can see the patterned block sidewalk, the dog and the people in the background.
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Old 10-19-2018   #4
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Looks pleasing to me.

Here is no digital BW which could match film BW.
Then film and scanning are done right.
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Old 10-19-2018   #5
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Looks like you're doing fine to me! I like the pic of the pup--it seems REALLY interested in what you're doing... :-)
What scanner did you buy? I'm thinking of getting a basic one, too.
Thanks!
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Old 10-19-2018   #6
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I have two small tips for you Guth, if I may.

1-Practice, practice, practice. Go out every day and shoot a roll if you can, and try to get them scanned or printed that same day as well. If you can do this for even two weeks you will be surprised at what you get. Or maybe at what you don't get! Either way you get a surprise though, so it's a win, win sort of deal. My rule of thumb is one keeper for every 100 shots, and sometimes I get 10 and sometimes I get zero. It all equals out.

2-Don't worry about capturing any sort of preconceived thing or other, just photograph what appeals to you. It's OK if it's just a shadow on the sidewalk or a gorgeous sunset, just shoot it and move on. Let your eye determine what to shoot, not your brain. Too much analysis will kill the joy in anything. Have fun with it, and don't sweat the small *****, and remember, it's all small *****.

The grab shot of the folks in the pub is wonderful. Good job.

But in the dog shot, he is sitting way to one side. So his weight obviously tilted the sidewalk and street and made it difficult for the people who were passing by to walk uphill. Bad dog!

The disconnected leg behind the potted shrub is a nice surrealistic touch though
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Old 10-19-2018   #7
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Thanks for the thoughts all - very much appreciated.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Paulbe View Post
Looks like you're doing fine to me! I like the pic of the pup--it seems REALLY interested in what you're doing... :-)
What scanner did you buy? I'm thinking of getting a basic one, too.
Thanks!
Paul
Paul, I bought an Epson V550. I was focused on new scanners — something that I could return if broken and I did not want to spend more than a few hundred dollars. There are a number of choices out there for at this price range and likely some better than the V550. But for $180 this will do and I can focus on getting the process down. From what I've read, ultimately I'll likely want to purchase the VueScan software, regardless of the scanner being used. That's another $99. Again, there are a number of options, but from the reading I've done this seems like the way to go.
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Old 10-19-2018   #8
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I like those photos. Keep up the good work, and don't get discouraged.

My passion increases when I'm with someone else who enjoys photography, and it dwindles with humdrum days of snapping nothing more interesting than photos of computers with evidence of software bugs for work on my iPhone. It has a very good camera, mind you.

Build passion by being with others who are also passionate about photography. I've got a boss in Italy who's very passionate about photography, and my oldest daughter really enjoys her film rangefinder (I swapped her a Minolta Hi-Matic 9 with a broken shutter for a Konica Auto S2 last week).

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Old 10-19-2018   #9
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I've received plenty of enjoyment from photography in the past and I know that the more time I put into practicing both the art and the process involved, the more rewarding it will be for me. I'm more or less trying to recapture some of the fascination and the enjoyment that I had as a kid — both with the art form itself as well as the processes involved.
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Old 10-19-2018   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guth View Post
I've received plenty of enjoyment from photography in the past and I know that the more time I put into practicing both the art and the process involved, the more rewarding it will be for me. I'm more or less trying to recapture some of the fascination and the enjoyment that I had as a kid — both with the art form itself as well as the processes involved.
Capture some of the fascination and the enjoyment that you have now. Claim it, it is there

Feels good to get back to ground doesn't it?

Negative space right?

Snap away
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Old 10-20-2018   #11
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Guth--thanks for the info! The fellows at the local camera shop--yep, we have a real one, very close by!---have said the V550 and V600 are excellent.
Keep up the good work!
Paul
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Old 10-20-2018   #12
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Only two photos... off to a Good start !
Keep shooting , keep posting
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Old 10-20-2018   #13
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Welcome back to film Guth! Nice street doggie portrait (one of my favourite subjects too - unsurprising given I'm a long time fan of Elliott Erwitt's dog photos); the second photo is my favourite of the two, well observed and a very nice shot. If the opportunity had presented itself to get more foreground and less ceiling in the photo I'd have tried that but I can't talk as I often miss the moment as well as the best composition. That's all part of the fun. And that's the important bit: the fun. Film is definitely more fun IMO.

Looking forward to seeing more

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Old 10-20-2018   #14
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After years of not using film, I loaded my M3 today with film! We shall see what will develop.

Good move, Guth.
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Old 10-20-2018   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raid View Post
After years of not using film, I loaded my M3 today with film!
Good deal — enjoy!
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Old 10-20-2018   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pentode View Post
I'm nearing 30 years into my journey with film photography and I still hope for one keeper per roll.

You'll get back into the swing of things faster than you think. It's like falling off a bike.
We're all our own worst critics. Don't be so hard on yourself. For what it's worth, I like the second image you posted.
Don't throw out the non-keepers, I just went through some negatives from 2007, and now there are a couple more keepers.
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Old 10-21-2018   #17
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Welcome back! I came from digital to film. Film for ever here in my heart.
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Old 10-21-2018   #18
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I shot film for the first 25 years (Olympus then Nikon) before switching to digital for newspaper work. Since retiring I have considered returning to just film (been eyeballin' some OM-4 bodies w/50mm lenses) and have been shooting with my dad's old 1972 Yashica Electro35 GS. There is just something about film that is intoxicating!
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Old 10-21-2018   #19
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I shot digital for many years and came back to film this year, after looking at my film prints from the 90s and realizing how (almost) effortlessly pleasing the film images rendered compared to the work I have to put into my digital files. I do still shoot digital too but my keepers are now almost all just film.
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Old 10-21-2018   #20
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I took today 15 photos with the M3 and the Hologon. It is one day at a time for me with film.
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Old 10-21-2018   #21
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Film can be so much fun, and definitely humbling.


Just finished developing a roll of Delta 3200 taken at a night football game using my Holga.


If it weren't for the stadium lights and the rebate printing I would have believed that I used fixer first instead of developer.


Ah well, better luck next time.


BTW, I am working hard to get one keeper per month. And unlike John, sometimes I look back and realize it wasn't really a keeper after all.
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Old 10-21-2018   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pioneer View Post
Film can be so much fun, and definitely humbling.

Just finished developing a roll of Delta 3200 taken at a night football game using my Holga.

If it weren't for the stadium lights and the rebate printing I would have believed that I used fixer first instead of developer.
haha, too funny Dan
I have done that ... fixer first, by accident reached for the wrong
pre measured funnel ... now I only fill one container at a time
btw, The Film came out blank.
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Old 10-22-2018   #23
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I've only now just discovered that there's actually a Gallery here where we can post images so I tried to add a couple. I now see where we enter our details such as camera and lens used. However, I'm not seeing where details like film type, etc. are added. Also does anyone know if we can edit the information once an image has been uploaded? (I'll be sufficiently embarrassed if this turns out to be something obvious, lol.) Thanks in advance for any help.
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Old 10-22-2018   #24
Malcolm M
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Guth- just click on...

Show/Hide Photo Detail Editor

below the image.
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Old 10-22-2018   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnwolf View Post
Guth, thanks for sharing your experience and observations. All the best with your film adventure.

This past summer I finished a one year return-to-film experiment and have concluded it's not for me. Achieving mastery of processing and scanning is just not where I want to focus my photography time and energy. I agree it's a humbling experience to strive for consistently high quality results. Hats off to the many members here who are able to do so.
I can relate. Home development and scanning suck, so for me it wouldn't be worth the time and aggravation to develop or scan myself. However, it is worth it given access to a reasonably priced lab that gives excellent results on most scans, which I have found locally for color film. I have my own scanner for the odd scan they might get wrong, but I need it very infrequently.

Black and white is a different story; most small labs don't do it themselves and ones that do generally charge too much for it and/or do it badly; I want to do more B&W but for the moment have given up on it because of unaffordability. So just color for now.
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Home developing B&W is affordable
Old 10-22-2018   #26
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Home developing B&W is affordable

Once you've assembled your developing kit, home developing B&W is very reasonable.

At 1:100 a 500ml bottle of Rodinal is good to go for a 100 rolls of film. Alternatively, a bottle of HC110 used at dilution h will probably last a few hundred rolls of film.

Use water for a stop. Figure in the cost of fixer - and - you're looking at way less than a dollar a roll.

A compact developing kit with the necessary bottles and tank will fit in a 2 foot by 1 foot Rubbermaid plastic container that's less than a foot tall. Use the container for your water bath to temp the chemistry.
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Old 10-22-2018   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olifaunt View Post
I can relate. Home development and scanning suck, so for me it wouldn't be worth the time and aggravation to develop or scan myself. However, it is worth it given access to a reasonably priced lab that gives excellent results on most scans, which I have found locally for color film. I have my own scanner for the odd scan they might get wrong, but I need it very infrequently.

Black and white is a different story; most small labs don't do it themselves and ones that do generally charge too much for it and/or do it badly; I want to do more B&W but for the moment have given up on it because of unaffordability. So just color for now.

I can't begin to understand how home black and white developing can be considered unaffordable! Please explain!
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Old 10-22-2018   #28
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I can't begin to understand how home black and white developing can be considered unaffordable! Please explain!

He says its expensive because he's not doing it at home. IE, he's paying for the service at a pro lab. But I agree with the above posts: Home development of B&W costs just pennies a roll once you have a few items on hand; tank, reels, chemistry, etc.


Cheers, Robert
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Old 10-22-2018   #29
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Quote:
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Guth- just click on...

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Ah, now I see it (of course). Thanks, much appreciated!
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Old 10-22-2018   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Filter Factor View Post
He says its expensive because he's not doing it at home. IE, he's paying for the service at a pro lab. But I agree with the above posts: Home development of B&W costs just pennies a roll once you have a few items on hand; tank, reels, chemistry, etc.


Cheers, Robert
You are right! I read too far into the text and added words not there! Thank you for the correction.
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Old 10-23-2018   #31
Guth
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Finished up my third role of film. This time I simply focused on shooting here in Portland. Viewing the city that I've grown so familiar with through my viewfinder turned out to be quite enjoyable. This time I felt good about a few shots as soon as I pressed the shutter release, hoping that I got the focus and exposure right. After what seemed like a really long wait I finally got my developed film back and was really glad to see that they came out okay.

Thanks to everyone for the supportive comments. I now find myself getting a bit more excited about future outings with the camera. If I stick with this then I'll need to figure out what all will be needed in order to start developing my own film at home.

By the way, what image size (largest dimension, be it height or width, in pixels) are most of you outputting your scanned files at for posting here?









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