I found a film camera at a local thrift shop for $10 and figured I’d give it a try. It’s a Canon T70, first introduced in April 1983 (that’s the year I graduated from college). There’s always risk involved in buying a camera from a thrift shop as there is no way to tell if the camera really works. I installed fresh batteries, did a little research on the internet—a few instructional videos and a quick read of the manual—and within a few hours I was out shooting.
I just finished up the roll today and I have the film all ready to ship to The Find Lab tomorrow. I sprung for the premium processing. Now comes the waiting.
I have a few thoughts on waiting and just how good it is for me—and maybe everyone—by some measure.
I was walking downtown today, carefully composing and making pictures. A group of four young kids, old enough to be walking around town on their own, noticed me and my camera. “Hey, take our picture, “ they called out. These words are always music to my ears. They arranged themselves and smiled and I took the picture. Of course, they wanted to see the picture immediately. I spent a few minutes explaining that this was a film camera (like in the “old days”) and they would have to wait to see the picture. They were neither discouraged nor deterred. I promised that I’d drop the picture off at the Community Garden office where they could pick it up in a week or so. They were so excited to learn that I would print the picture for them on paper!
And on the home front, I’ve taken a few pictures lately that may become a personal project or photo essay. I’m not sure yet what the theme will be, or even if they are worthy. But I know I need to think about them, to hold them in my hands and my heart. I need to consider what they mean to me and why I took them. I’m used to sharing my work immediately, show-as-I-go. I rarely hold anything back; good, bad, or somewhere in-between I show my work. It’s my way of getting over the need to be perfect.
But there is a time to wait, and this is one of those times.
I’m waiting for my film, Kodak Portra, to be developed and printed.
I’m waiting to see if my new photos will evolve into a project or maybe not.
I’m rediscovering the joy of film photography. For a while I kept promising I’d give film a try, but as long as the digital option existed—known, easy, instant—I rarely pushed myself to practice with film. The only way for me to take film pictures is to set the constraint of only carrying the film camera. This works for me.
Too many options makes me unhappy.