My 2012 Film Project – May – Japan

I’m excited to share my May installment of my 2012 film project. I went into May with a great plan. I would bring my film camera to Japan and use it shoot some non work, street and portraits. I rented a 50mm Zeiss 2.0 lens to shoot available light only and loaded 5 rolls of film, 4 Tri-X 400 and 1 roll of Portra 400. I picked 5 rolls because I looked at our trip itinerary and thought that I would shoot 1 role in each of the key regions we were visiting and then have one roll of back up just in case I really found a place to shoot two rolls. Always good to have back up too.

Well….My plan didn’t exactly go as planned. Truthfully, it felt like I was carrying around a useless brick in my back pack. I just didn’t have, or take, the time to really shoot film. In the end, I shot 1 role of Tri-X. Since I started the roll in dark conditions with expectations of rain for the coming days, I pushed it to 800. Here are some images. Straight lo res scans with no post processing.

Morning coffee. I LOVE Snow Peak stuff

Camp

Coy

Tokyo street graffiti

But the real reason I brought the film camera is that I am trying to work on my portrait collection and thought this would a great opportunity to work on it. I’m pleased with my first attempt and I think the combo of the amazing Zeiss lens and pushing to 800 really worked out pretty well. I really like this series, but part of that is I have such a strong personal connection with the folks and the experiences depicted. I am far from objective here, but I’ll share them anyway. Hope you enjoy them.

And here is my favorite portrait from the trip. Shot late in the evening after an outstanding bar-b-que.

Not bad for 28 printable shots (I screwed the exposure up on the other 8 frames). I think I am starting to get a better handle on film and what & how I want to use it for my personal projects. I think I will focus my film shooting on portraits. I also really loved the lens and was bummed when I had to send it back. Oh well, now I at least know what a good lens feels like and shoots like.

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5 Comments

  1. […] May 2012 – Portraits from Japan […]

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  2. Great images Gnat. It must be so strange to go back shooting film, not knowing what you got until after you get home. One clear advantage is it must really make you take your time, and focus on ‘what your image is’ before snapping the shutter.

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  3. I wanted to watch the photograph which you shot on this trip.
    I remember it like the yesterday’s thing when I watch these photographs .
    Thank you for great days!

    Reply

    1. Haruki, it was an honor and pleasure riding with you. Thank you for taking so much time to show us and share your country. I hope to visit you again on the north island in two years. Thank you again.

      Reply

  4. Reblogged this on ImagineGnat and commented:

    I dug back in the vault today to look over some old posts. Partly for curiousity and partly for inspiration. This old post from Japan 2012 really struck a chord today. Hard to believe this trip was exactly 3 years ago. It got my wanderlust going as well as reminding me how much I personally love and prefer film photography over digital.
    Anyway, I thought it was worth a second look. Hope you enjoy it too.

    Reply

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