There is something magical about loading a roll of film. The choice of emulsion and speed defines you, makes you aware of you limitations, make you choose carefully.
The film choice can be colour or mono, fast or slow, positive or negative but whatever it is, you will be come skilled in its use and become accustomed to it. It will have those qualities that, as a photographer, you need to learn, it will have good points, you will learn to love, and vices too, you’ll learn to live with those and execute a diligent work around or two. I’ve shot a lot of film over the years, my Kid’s are eternally preserved through the lenses of Olympus and Canon cameras, stored for all time mostly on Kodachrome 64 and Fuji’s amazing Velvia but also on a great many rolls of the cheapest store stock I could find, when times were hard.
I got into shooting digital from about the turn of the century, wow that seems a long time ago now. Sony bridge cameras were superseded by Nikon Dslr cameras of greater and greater resolution and image taking ability and I became a reasonably accomplished wedding and commercial photographer over the years. However, something was missing, something I yearned for and quested but did not realise.
Sarah opened my eyes, she said shoot some film. As my young apprentice, I had always harked on teaching her about stops, film speed correlation to f-stops and shutter speeds, ‘it’s all about stops’ I used to say, and still do. So I scrolled eBay and purchased a couple of Nikon film cameras, an F301, which I paid the princely sum of £20 and a Nikon F3 in mint condition which I paid considerably more for. My Dad had a Nikon F3 and I always hankered after it many years ago. He even let me borrow it once and I took it to Brighton for a day on the beach, the love affair began.
So Sarah and I went to Herne Bay, we then moved further west on a miserable day along the Spa Esplanade to Hampton spinning a roll of Kodak Ektar 100 shot at box speed through the F3 with the 35mm f2 lens on. The results are below, I hope you like them.
I have found something that makes me want to shoot for me, something that I really enjoy again and something which makes me feel more than ever like I ‘make a photograph’ rather than just take a photograph.
Thank-you Sarah, for once again, opening my eyes and allowing me to see. She has a habit of doing that .