Frugal Film Project – Marius Voicu

FFP 2020 – December – Close-Up 

And it is here, December 2020, which marks the end of another year for the FFP. We can all agree that 2020 was something ….else (I promised not to talk about it anymore, so I won’t). But if I look back at it I can see that despite the restrictions and all other imposed rules, I was still able to shoot for the project. I got a very good vibe from FFP 2019 and was hoping that 2020 will mean even more film shooting for other side or personal projects, but like is said before: it is what it is. I am thankful that I got to shoot even as little as I did, I could focus more on doing my very best and shoot exactly what the monthly theme asked of me. So focus, discipline and perseverance would be what I can describe FFP 2020 was for me.  

On the other hand, I encountered other issues that I didn’t took into consideration or did not plan accordingly for. What I mean is that I could not count on 2 cameras that I set out to use, due to film stock unavailability for that format (thank you other film photographers for making Lomography film stocks so damn hard to find) or camera malfunction (thank you internet guy who sold me that overlapping frame Zorki 4). On the bright side (yes, there is a bright side :D), I got to shoot one of my special cameras, the Kodak Brownie Twin20, and a new addition to my camera stock: a rangefinder, the FED 2. I have heard that you cannot or is very hard to put 120 film in the Twin20. But after I saw a guy using a toenail to adjust the top and bottom ends of the spool, I could enjoy this absolutely magical camera (yes, it has a plastic lens! :)) ). The whole re-spooling the film from one spool to another seemed a hit or miss thing and decided not to do that EVER.  

One of my 2020 resolutions was to try a different type of camera, a rangefinder to be precise, since I was not eager to get into large format (4×5, 8×10 and so on). I have seen everywhere on the internet how everybody got a Leica and how magical that is, but the price tag for one of those “magical” cameras was a deal-braker for me. I set a personal principle not to buy such a hyped and expensive camera. I may take very sharp images but sharpness is not all to me. So after some research I decided that an old Russian rangefinder is the best solution (and that could fit in the requirements for FFP 2020). All I can say is that the FED 2 surprised me quite a bit. I was expecting not bad, but mediocre build quality and not so good photos from those lenses. But they are copied from the Carl Zeiss Tessar formula and that is not and overstatement. They perform really good. Over the last 6 months I got to know and enjoy using such a rangefinder. For 2021 this will be one of the cameras that I will definitely use since I have 2 other lenses that I want to try on it. 

For the December theme I wanted to shoot something that was going to be special, but did not find all that much special subjects and I was afraid that I needed a close-up filter. But as was the case for November, I wanted to shoot with what I had set out to shoot, and that was the base lens. I had the camera with me for the first 2 weeks of December and by the end of the second week I had found that special subject. I must have forgotten since last year, but the yellow of the leaves on black-and-white film is just awesome. I found some oak trees in a park and at the base of one there were the last leaves of this year, some leftover from autumn. I snapped 5 or 6 frames to make sure I got what I needed and went home happy. After I scanned the negatives I saw how bright and distinctive that yellow looks. This is to end FFP 2020 in style.  

I am hoping for a much better FFP 2021 and to be able to get out more and shoot, because I seem to have forgotten how that feels like.    


Frugal Film Project – The Zine!

The Frugal Film Project: one camera, one film, one year. Follow 13 photographers around the globe who complete this project…

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