December 12, 2020

A Little Bit of Film

Film, Misc.

Covid Ruined My Weekend Plans

I had really high hopes for this weekend. I was supposed to visit my hometown, Fort Wayne, and I had a couple churches lined up to photograph. I was going to visit Bethany LCMS (a beautifully done colonial style church) and the "cathedral" of Fort Wayne Lutheranism and my home church, St. Paul's LCMS (a huge gothic revival behemoth that would have taken at least a wonderful two hours to photograph). But we're currently having a Covid situation in our household so I needed to stay home. Everyone is healthy! Hopefully nothing to worry about!

Instead, I'm going to use this opportunity to showcase a little bit of the film photography I do.

For a few years I've been very reluctant to return to my first love, film. I originally learned photography in a dark room in high school under the instruction of my wonderful teacher, Mrs. Croy. I had the oldest film camera in the class, a Minolta x700 that was made before I was born and used by my grandpa who I never met. It's the same film camera I use today. It's likely that I'll never replace it. I really took to the whole process of making photographs this way. It's something that you just cannot feel while photographing digitally. If you have a roll of 36 exposures, you sometimes forget what the first images are and are happily surprised when you see them for the first time post-development.

Developing a roll of film can be tedious and would usually take the whole class period. Your hands would be shoved into a light-tight black bag while you blindly open the film canister, unroll the film, and then re-roll it into a development canister. If you took too long, your own body heat would produce humidity which would make the film stick to itself. You'd have to take a break and start all over.

The next few class periods would be spent in the darkroom. seeing which image you liked and experimenting which how to develop it to that it would look exactly perfect. Or, if you were like Mrs. Croy, imperfect in the best ways.

I've been reluctant to return to film because most of this process isn't possible now that I don't have access to a darkroom and for the most part, they just don't exist anymore. I didn't want to give up any of the process that I loved but eventually I decided to give it a try.

I now have to take my film to a photo shop to be developed and digitized. It's not the same but it's convenient and although I still greatly miss the darkroom, this will do for now. It's been cool to see how much my photography has changed in the years that I've gone fully digital. hen I picked up my film camera again I was drawn to different things than when I'm using my digital camera. Here's a little bit of what I've done over the last year.