Labatt Pyramid #1, 2009
Last weekend, after a coffee at the Red Roaster, I went for a walk with Ryn. I bent her ear, as I am apt to do, about pausing shooting for a while and she said in a round about sort of way that I should change it up. Get some creativity going. Film would be creatively different..
A couple of years ago, I bought a rangefinder looking 35mm camera. At Goodwill for about $8.00 or so. It had a Sears m35sf badge on the body and no information could be found about it online. f3.8 fixed 38mm lens. No focusing and would accept either 100 or 400 iso film. Flash. Depth of field settings: 1, 2 or 3 people or mountains. Despite my not being sure what to do if I wanted to shoot 4 people, or flat terrain, I decided to give 'er a try. I loaded in a couple of AA batteries and found the flash would fire. I bought some film at Walmart.
Green Windows #1, 2009
Having nothing to lose aside from a few bucks for the film and processing, I put a roll of Kodak 400 speed colour (all Walmart had) in the Sears special. It must have been ten years since I last loaded film. This body was well used, and I thought the sprockets were not taking up the film. So I had to open the back and expose a couple of frames to confirm it had in fact picked up. Oh well.
Crossing to Arts #1, 2009
It was later in the afternoon when I ended up by the Labatt Visual Arts building at UWO -where Mallory and I crashed a gallery opening in the spring. Clear blue skies - and the sun was in the right part of the sky. Interesting angles on the buildings too.
Crossing to Arts #2, 2009
My eye would see a cool building corner, and think - from hundreds of thousands of photos done on the Canons, that if I zoomed in it would be perfect. Putting the Sears to my eye, the scene composed itself differently. No zoom and way more in the way of backing up and moving around and re-composing with a 38mm lens. Some shots I just didn't bother with.
Sprinklers and benches, 2009
I had to slow down. I was only going to shoot one roll of 24 at max and had wasted probably 4-5 frames loading. So each one had to count. Be different. Not knowing what the results would be right away was something I had forgotten about. Adds an element of tension. Anticipation. And then I had to wait for the next day for Costco to develop it and burn it on CD and for me to go get it an hour later... and for me to take it home and load it into Lightroom... I guess the last ten years are an aberration in the 160yrs+ of photography, but you do get used to instant digital results.
Green windows #2, 2009
So what did I get out of this experience? Aside from the results, I found that it was a good to shake it up and try a 'new' gadget. I wouldn't rely on a film camera for day-to-day use. But it is creative to play with one. I also need to find somewhere that scans in better than Costco's 120dpi to jpeg Noritsu machine. It was cheap at $6 for the whole deal, but not good enough.
Next? Missy loaned me her very cool Canon AE-1. I just need some cheap -even expired- film. This may be fun, but I also have no budget for it right now.
Mike Wood Photography