2012 Film Project – Lessons Learned

I shot more film in July than I have in any other month of 2012. I shot 5 rolls and finished off one that sat in the camera from an earlier month. Why did I shoot more? Well…I am just enjoying it so much. In fact, right now it is pretty much all I want to shoot. For me and this project, I think July marked the turning point for me. I found that I am getting more good shots from each roll of film. I’m getting my camera and it’s setting pretty dialed and I have a pretty good baseline of the film and how it is should respond. Essentially, I am seeing the images in my head before I shoot them.

So…All is good right?  Wrong. I learned some things this month.

1) Never temperature abuse your film. I got lazy and I left a roll of film in my Olympus 35 RC for a few months. I left it in my garage and/or in my car as temps neared 100. While I still got a few images I liked from it, it was obvious the film didn’t perform as planned. It’s flat and grainy. Stupid me.

2) Traveling – I made two mistakes. Not thinking through how many images I planned on taking before I left on my trip. This resulted in me early rewinding and wasting some film. Then, on my return trip, I FORGOT to rewind it and sent my camera through the security checkpoint X-Ray machine. D’oh!

3) Cost – OK…It is time for me to start processing my own film. Taking 5 rolls in for processing and printing is costly. I won’t do that again. I’ve got to learn to do my own processing and I can scan negatives at home. Significantly cheaper solution and given how much I like shooting film, I better learn soon.

4) While shooting one roll while riding, I mistakingly turned the compensation knob on my camera while pulling it out of the pocket of my pack. I ended up shooting the entire roll underexposed. I had to push it quite a bit to get images. I still like them for the feel of the images, but they are obviously not right, especially when I compare them to another roll of the same film. Again, stupid me.

All that said, I also got some of my favorite shots so far. I am really getting the hang of shooting film while in motion. I am also experimenting with some panning action shots as well. The last thing is that I tried a new film this month too, Ilford HP5 400. I’ll share more about that in a later post.

Overall, still loving this 2012 film project. So much that I want to sell some stuff and get a second lens for my Bessa R4A. I want a good 35mm to use the camera for other things. I plan to do a more detailed review in the coming weeks on my first 6 months with the Bessa R4A.

Anyway, here are just a few pics from the various rolls to give you an idea of what is to come in future posts. I’ll be digging a bit into each of these series and films.

It’s hard shooting an old Olympus 35RC rangefinder backwards while riding on horseback. Portra 400 temperature abused!
Summer in MN lake country. Anyone know what that line is? It’s in about 6 of my shots in different places. My camera or the processing & printing? Olympus 35RC with Portra 400 temperature abused.
Film in motion – Trying out Ilford HP5 400 – Bessa R4A w/21mm – Underexposed by almost 2 stops and saved in post processing.
Circulus! – Panning at 1/8 second on Ektar 100
Gravel on my new Salsa Fargo Ti! Olympus 35RC – Portra 400 temperature abused

This isn’t the end of my film posts from my experiences with film in July. I’ll be doing a few posts with quite a few images starting next week as I am headed out on another adventure. I’ve got posts planned for the rest of this week, but I will be taking Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday off the blog. Back next Thursday with more film focused words and images.

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