Hi, my name is Sherry and I am addicted to old cameras…

Alright, I don’t need an intervention… yet… so what a perfect idea than to USE some of these old cameras and see what they do. No, I don’t mean my Mom’s Pentax from 1978, sadly it was stolen… but more of what my Grandparents would have used. I’m talking pre-1960… things that have bellows, obscure film formats, etc.

These oldies have been collecting in the house because I think they look awesome and all of them still seem to work. So why not use them… worst case is I ruin a roll of film and I can manage that with newer cameras! So far I have shot the Zeiss Nettar 515/16, Rolleiflex Automat and the Zeiss Ercona with decent results. Just sent a roll from the Ventura 66 Deluxe off to the lab…

Stay tuned…

 

A while back I found myself this handy little Lumu light meter… it was small and hooked up to my iPhone. Mine is an older model, I see there is a newer one out there. I have a Sekonic light meter, but tend to leave it at home simply because it is rather bulky. I asked other photographers who shoot film if they used one and they said no “I heard it wasn’t very good.”

That’s when I thought I should compare them. So I loaded up a roll of Kodak GT800 from the #99rolls I have in the fridge and began. Its super cheap stock and perfect for experiments! Lets see what happened…

No… these are not duplicate photos, even if you think they are. One was metered with the Sekonic the other with the Lumu in direct sunlight there is no difference.

Let’s make things a bit tougher… inside my dining room. Again… there is no difference! What? Seriously… this thing is freakin amazing! Well lets try the Lumu with Portra 400 and see what it looks like (Ok, I wanted to finish the roll!)

SherryChristensen-BTGU-5

But wait… I took it out in the field and tried it there and the Sekonic stayed home. It performed well there as well, it was overcast and while I could do Sunny 16… that can be limiting sometimes. Will I sell my Sekonic? No… it has more features that I do use, like for strobe work and spot metering. However the Lumu is a perfect incident meter that fits your pocket! SherryChristensen-16

and here is the proof on the readings…

IMG_0021

I found this an interesting experiment and I was impressed with the little Lumu meter. It is in reality a very good compact incident light meter. Be honest, you always pack you phone…

Sherry

 

 

Colour… who doesn’t love a bright pop of colour? While B&W photos are awesome and film renders them so wonderfully, colour is my favourite. So when I find a film stock that is amazing AND affordable… its love at first sight.

A friend of mine was picking up Agfa Vista at Poundland, my first question was “what is Poundland?” she is from the UK, Ohhhh… the Dollar Store, I get it. Why can’t we have Poundland in Canada? For that matter why doesn’t anyone sell film in my area? I can get a few rolls of Kodak 200 and that’s it. I want Agfa Vista!!! Hang on I will show you why.

SherryChristensen-42

This is so my style! I could order it from the US, but international shipping made it expensive. BOO! Then I found a website called  Buy Film Canada and there it was, Agfa Vista and reasonably priced in Canadian dollars! Happy Dance!!!

SherryChristensen-40

Check out these reds… so perfect!

SherryChristensen-38

Even on a cloudy overcast day the colour just pops!

SherryChristensen-41

Skin tones are nice too. I will be shooting this stock a lot more! For a consumer grade film it is mind blowing, nice grain, wonderfully bright and just right. The affordable price makes this even better!

Sherry

its been months since I picked up any camera except my iPhone… don’t get me wrong the iPhone is capable of taking some pretty great photos, but I just didn’t have “it” as Austin Powers said “I lost my mojo baby.”

So what’s a girl to do? I picked up my digital (hey… this is a film blog! Don’t worry I will get there) and started snapping and then I picked up my film camera and BOOM! There is was… so off Cayden and I went on a photo adventure.

SherryChristensen-10

SherryChristensen-14

and off we went… I loaded some Fuji Acros and TriX 400 into my Nikon F100 and Nikon FE, threw them on the dash of the truck and went for a drive.

SherryChristensen-11SherryChristensen-15

and then just for fun when we got home I grabbed the Rolleiflex from the shelf and finished that roll of Ilford 3200 that had been sitting for months! More from the Rolleiflex can be seen in my project gallery Vintage Visuals Photography Project

xvb

YIKES! This had been loaded a long time!

SherryChristensen-9x

Sherry

 

After the FU roll… I dreaded trying again, but I did. A little knowledge applied, a dusted off grey card and external light meter… and OMG! I love these!!!

31690003484190010029

 

Was never a huge fan of B&W photography… until now! Will def be shooting more B&W film in the future.

458390010007-2

img002

31690011

#99rolls

So today I am going to show you just how bad that first roll of black & white was. This will be humbling and embarrassing to show people, but I’m a firm believer in looking back and seeing progress and how much you grow. So lets go back to April and visit how bad at this I was…

31680018

 

whoa… seriously underexposed!!! But at least it is focus, not like the next shot!

31680006

exposure is a little better… but its out of focus, which makes me sad, because look how cute little man is! Manual focus is much more difficult when you get used to using back button auto focus… I need help. This is not what I had envisioned at all! The entire roll was a total F*** Up!

“Nice photo, you must have a really great camera!”

Well, yes I do… but I don’t always use it. Sometimes I use a camera I purchased from the thrift store and to make it even harder I put cheap expired film in it! But I don’t limit myself to just film cameras either… I am a firm believer in use the camera you have in your hand! I shoot digital, film and my iPhone. But this blog is about film photography and my progress learning how to shoot film, so no digital or iPhone stuff here… if you want to take a peek at my digital work have a peek at the Landscape Gallery found here.

sc171016006814-18Photo developed & scanned by Canadian Film Lab

This photo was taken with a 1970’s era Olympus Trip 35mm that I found at my local thrift shop for $5. It was in great shape… I put a roll of Kodak Gold 400 (expired 4 years earlier) for a test roll and I packed it along with me in the combine during harvest. As I unloaded the wheat into the semi truck I looked over to where my Dad was and this amazing golden light was there. I grabbed the trip and snapped the shot. I know its not a prize winner composition wise with the horizon in the middle… but somehow it works.

Sometimes with film, I feel limited with the stock that is loaded in the camera, its so different from digital, I can’t just change some of the settings, so I made another trip to the thrift store… maybe I can score another good cheap camera! This time it was a Pentax sp500 that looked hardly used with a 50mm lens and 35mm lens for $30! So far I have spent $35 on camera gear! I loaded up some old Fuji Superia 400 expired 3 years ago and went out to try this camera out. I hope it works properly, it looks virtually brand new but it is an old camera that has probably sat in a closet unused for a long time…

When the roll was done I sent it away, letting the lab know it was expired and would have a magenta colour cast. Letting them know ahead of time allows them to correct the scan for me. Less work in the chair of death at my computer screen is always welcome means more time to spend with my family.

458420020023Photo developed and scanned by The FIND Lab

perfect Fuji colour!!! The Pentax works flawlessly too… neither of these cameras are what I would call great cameras, but they are darn good ones and they are affordable. The film I used was not high quality, was expired (which can affect the colour and produce more grain) and to be honest I think it did just fine. Shoot with what you have, the gear isn’t important… just go shoot!

Sherry

#99rolls

I saw this film called Lomography Purple, it looked interesting… like it shoots everything in shades of purple! Ok, now what do I do with it??? 36 shots of purple??? I don’t think I should do portraits… purple people are just a little too weird, for even me.

I am a bit stumped at just what to shoot… so I loaded the baby and the dog in the truck and threw the Nikon FE loaded with Lomo Purple on the truck dash and went for a drive. It was a hot summer day anyway, so the baby and the dog got to sit in the air conditioning! I however stood out in the hot sun sweating my butt off… the things I do for fun right?

Here’s some purple goodness for you!

03400035-2

whoa… ok I threw a star filter on there too… may as well go all out if we are experimenting! I didn’t quite finish the roll that day, I was running out of ideas for purple photos and I was not sure exactly what this was going to look like.

03400007

tired of fields of bright yellow canola blossoms? How about purple canola fields!!! Trippy, this stuff is really cool… it works well with full sun (like the first shot) and it works well on a stormy day as well! But I think 36 shots is to0 much at once. I do have a Holga, so I bought some Lomo Purple for 120… hope it works out as well as the 35mm.

I”m still working on my 99 rolls project, the first roll is complete… as soon as I get 6 rolls I will send it off to the Canadian Film Lab for developing… I’m not ready to “soup my own” since I have only been shooting film a couple months and I just don’t know enough or feel brave enough! Until next time…

Sherry

#99rolls

Last spring I finally did it, something I have always wanted to do, but had been too afraid to try. I put a roll of film in a garage sale camera that I had purchased for the lenses, they fit nicely on my digital camera, but that old Nikon FE sat there looking at me… like it was saying “shoot me… you know you want to.” Ok, I did… but I didn’t have the first clue how to do it! So I read the manual (I should know what to do now right?) Ummm no. The first roll came back blank. I didn’t load it right. The second roll came back… not so good, I mean there were photos, but they were way underexposed. The third roll… hey lets try Black and White… whoa… utter failure!

I need help… so I signed up for an online workshop called Embrace the Grain. Week one was all B&W… didn’t I just fail horribly at this? I loaded the roll… I followed Joyce and Heather’s instructions, I asked questions and I finished the roll. I sent it away with visions of black muddy looking photos returning again. Week two was all about colour, ok I can shoot colour… let’s go! I went out and shot the roll… these are all about learning, so I wasn’t too worried about composition… and I sent that one off. I’m still waiting and kind of worried about week one…

Week three- break week with an optional assignment! I did try strobes… exposed correctly, but mucked up the focus. Ok, that was kind of a success, since now I know I can use a strobe correctly with film… where is that film, its been two weeks!!! Here comes roll two… and they were better than I thought! Kodak Gold 200 isn’t a great quality film, but its pretty good for learning purposes! I am very happy with the results. 30240012

But where is that B&W??? Really starting to worry now… On to week four… and here comes the B&W, I really didn’t want to open the file and see what had came back… seriously worried… I used Ilford FP4

31690010-3

Holy Dinah Batman… did I shoot that?

I did… I am so excited to do more, learn more, shoot more… so much so that it lead me to eBay and a box of film… a big box of film… one with 99 rolls of Kodak in it… and that is how my film project 99 Rolls was born! Currently I have one shot, and 2 more loaded (good film cameras are affordable, so my one Nikon has multiplied… a few times!)

Will be sharing more of my adventures in film… #99rolls

Sherry