Beth on Film | Personal Project

It seems like a lifetime ago now, but before digital I shot with film! I learned photography with my film camera and it wasn’t until I was nearly finished university that I saved up enough money for a DSLR. Even then, I loved the tangibility of film and being able to see my b&w images develop before my eyes, as well as the rich quality of the photographs.

Over the past few years, my remaining canisters of film have been taking up room in my fridge and old camera bag, expiring more and more with each passing day. However, I am finally going to be making an effort to use this film!

Let’s face it, we’ve all gotten lazy with digital cameras. In a photo session I can fire off hundreds of photos, chimp, and get the framing right after looking at the first result. There’s very little need to get the photograph perfect on the first shot… and that’s just not acceptable!

Doing this project sets these limitations:

  • I can only use one roll of film for each one.
  • I can only do light digital enhancements on the photographs after scanning them.
  • I have to really pay attention to the light meter, or remember from experience how to ignore the light meter.
  • Every photo needs to be properly composed before I even half-press the shutter.

Beth was my first go at this, and it was not without issues.

  • My scanner sucks!
  • I chimped (looked at the “display screen” on the back) after EVERY PHOTO. All I saw was an exposure reading. ;)
  • It was disappointing to find out later that a few images hadn’t turned out – but that just means I need to concentrate more next time!
  • I’m probably getting a few quality issues from using my digital lenses on a film body, but since my original camera only had a kit lens, I’m willing to make this compromise. I need me those primes!
  • Expired Kodak consumer film looks nasty compared to the expensive b&w Ilford film I got used to in university :)

If I’ve learned anything, it’s that it’s hard getting back into film, but I’m going to keep trying ;)

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