The journey of learning analog photography can sometimes be a frustrating one. You see the work that others can create using the same film stock and you wonder how their final results are so amazing. One of these days I am going to bite the bullet and get my 35mm film professionally scanned so that I can see if the results are that much more superior to what I am experiencing with my Epson V600. Below are a few frames from our last holiday to Disneyland's magic kingdom. I shot these images on Kodaks consumer grade Gold 200 film with the Pentax PC35AF-M point and shoot.
This past summer I did a road trip to visit my parents in southern Alberta. My insatiable desire for adventure prompted me to convince my folks to visit the near by provincial park called Smashed in Head Buffalo Jump. This provincial park has rich historical significance to the aboriginal peoples of southern alberta and is home to some stunning views. I chose to try out a roll of Kodak Vericolor III (160 ISO) in My Pentax Spotmatic that had expired in 2000. This 18 year old film had been freezer stored most of its life but I thought I would still overexpose it by one additional stop to be safe. As soon as i got home from the trip I refrigerated my exposed roll until today when I developed it at home in the Unicolor C41 Kit. Here are a few of the keepers from the day. The last two frames I took were exposed to some light leaks when I accidentally opened the back of my camera. To be honest I love the result that was created.
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The journey of shooting film after many years of shooting digital sometimes feels like you're starting all over again. Such was the last roll of Tri-X I shot on a very simple point and shoot that I nabbed from the local Mission thrift store. I spotted this camera still in its factory box and noticed right away that it had an f2.8 aperture. This usually means one thing, it was in it's day more of a prosumer than consumer type of camera. I was making a work trip to one of the northern most places I had ever visited and as always I tend to bring a camera with me. One of the great things about a point and shoot 35mm camera is that you can go about your day and not really pay that much attention at all to the settings. This is important to me when I travel for work because I don't have to necessarily commit to anything I can just shoot casually.
The Pentax PC35AF is actually a pretty versatile little camera. It has pretty sharp 35mm f2.8 lens that is concealed behind an 80's style sliding door for protection with a spring loaded release that feels nothing short of snappy. The PC35 sports a selectable ISO range between 100 and a 1000 with an additional switch that pushes an additional 1.5 stops of light should you be in a backlit type situation. What is specifically great about this 80's shooter is that it has a pretty great zone auto focus system to boot.
Over all I quite like this camera. It's not as small and compact as some of the cult cameras people are paying crazy amounts of dollars for but for a $5 thrift store find I was more than pleased. In fact the tiny bit of extra bulk makes this camera much more enjoyable for me to hand hold. Below are selection of images I shot. The film I used was Tri-X 400 pushed to 1000 (Because that's the max the Pentax will go). I then developed it in Ilfosol 3 for 11.5 min with a dilution of 1-9. Check out the grainy goodness below.
Recently I purchased a set of Canon EF Fotodiox Extension Tubes from Amazon. My primary goal for purchasing these was to scan my film negatives. Then winter came along with all it's trimmings. My need to create however doesn’t change when the weather does. Below is a simple shot I took with the new Extension Tubes and my 24-70mm F2.8 L series lens. For this image I used the 13mm & 21mm tubes because I still wanted to show some context with the film advance lever and frame counter in my frame. Up till this point I had never made purchasing a Macro lens a priority because I primarily shoot portraits. One of the great things about this kit is that it still allows for auto focusing because of the electrical contacts that allow the lens to communicate with the camera body. I am sure that the results you get from a stand alone macro lens are better but for someone like myself who just needs to take the odd ring shot during a wedding and experiment the rest of the time $79 bucks is a steal.
Bear Skull shot on Tri-X 400 with The Pentax Spotmatic and the 55mm f1.8 Takumar Lens
Since I began to shoot film not long ago I was fascinated by not only the taking of images but also the making of them. Developing film couldn't have been easier yet there is a nervousness that happens as you pour the chemicals over the film and hope that you will see something after all the hard work. After opening the tank and discovering that it worked you can't wait for the film to dry and see what the final images turned out like. Here are just a few images I selected from 2 rolls of Ilford Delta 400 I shot, one just recently and the other I shot almost 3 years ago just waiting for this day. It is hard to judge the grain and sharpness of this Black and white film when it the first and only kind that I have ever shot. I should have a better idea when I shoot the very popular HP5 in the coming month or so. I continue to be fascinated by film because it seems to take me to a different place than digital. It's actually tough to describe other than to say it's quite calming.
Tech info on images
-Camera: Pentax Spotmatic & Canon A-E1 / Lens: Takumar 55 f1.8 & Canon FD 50mm f1.8 / Film: Ilford Delta 400 / Developer: Ilfosol 3 / Scanner: Epson V600