shooting film

I read an interesting article with reasons to shoot film.

A friend loaned me a twin lens reflex camera, a Graflex 22.

I loaded it with Ilford Delta 100 film, read the manual, and set out to practice.

 Alice's Bedroom | Colonial Beach, Virginia

Alice's Bedroom | Colonial Beach, Virginia

For the first 4 or 5 photos I didn’t have a light meter and just guessed at the settings. Then I purchased a light meter app for my phone.  I understand that a light meter is essential for film photography, and I tried to set the camera accordingly.

 Dave | Ellwood Thompson's Cafe | Institute for Contemporary Art | Richmond, Virginia

Dave | Ellwood Thompson's Cafe | Institute for Contemporary Art | Richmond, Virginia

I put the camera away for a week or so, and when I came back, I totally forgot about focusing all together.

 Jacob | Contemplative | Institute for Contemporary Art | Richmond, Virginia

Jacob | Contemplative | Institute for Contemporary Art | Richmond, Virginia

At least once I turned the knob to advance the film when I meant to focus.

 Front Porch Chairs | Downtown | Fredericksburg, Virginia

Front Porch Chairs | Downtown | Fredericksburg, Virginia

I spent a lot of time just trying to get my subject in the frame.  Looking through the lens at a mirror image is confusing at first.

I kept forgetting where the shutter was and how to hold the camera.

 Seamstress | Mending | Institute for Contemporary Art | Richmond, Virginia

Seamstress | Mending | Institute for Contemporary Art | Richmond, Virginia

So when I gave the roll of 12 exposures to my friend and her husband to develop for me, I wasn’t expecting much.

 Declaration | Institute for Contemporary Art | Richmond, Virginia

Declaration | Institute for Contemporary Art | Richmond, Virginia

The truth is I love the look of film. And yet I’m not sure I am willing to put in the work to master the medium. 

I’m dedicated to my Canon 5d Mark iii, full frame, digital SLR camera. It is my favorite dance partner. We move smoothly and fluidly as one.

Am I willing to learn to use a new tool?

 I wonder.

The film scans arrived via drop box and each image felt like a surprise.

 Bumbrey Cab Service | Fredericksburg, Virginia

Bumbrey Cab Service | Fredericksburg, Virginia

I am grateful that film is forgiving.

And happy for a new challenge.