It is years since I have taken any photographs using film. It felt like shooting in the dark and I can't
tell you how many times I looked down at the back of the camera to check every shot. Hang on,
yes I can tell you - 36 times!
Do you remember that lovely whirring sound of the camera's mechanics as you press the shoot button,
hearing the image click into place, for better or worse, with the film rolling from one frame to the next?
And do you remember the anticipation of collecting the envelope of developed shots? The agony? Here I
must admit to some slight economy of truth - I handed over the roll, with pre-emptive embarrassment, as
something I had found hanging around . . .
"Hangin' around, huh?" asked the lovely man behind the counter, like he hasn't heard that one a hundred
times before . . .
Which was half the truth. The film, bought years ago, had sat in the dark of a deep drawer and with
nothing to lose except maybe some pride and a few dollars I loaded up the old Canon and took it out into
the ISO 125 light of day.
I snapped this backward glance on one of the avenues here in New York, a reflection of a moment passing
quickly into time, but a moment sitting in the dark of my camera, waiting patiently to reach the magic
number of 36. . .
. . . .
I loved film. I took shots and had slides made. Now they’re all lost. I use a cheap digital now and have flash drives full of memories. Only one complaint, digital doesn’t give you that spirit that light on paper gave. The pictures are too perfect.
Tom, how sad to lose all your work, I’m so sorry!
Digital prints seem to sit on the paper in a much thinner layer than do those from film – or is this my imagination and I don’t know what I am talking about?!?
The whir of film advancing is music to my ears.
It does have a lovely hum and rhythm to it and your shots are always so good!
I have just been offered an old Pentax film camera and three lenses to go with it. I’m going to use it for Black and White only.
Lucky you Mike, can’t wait to see what you do with it all!
There is a tango song that says, you remember that past …
Good post, even I could put a music of tango in Paris or NY …
Carlos, never say no to a shot of tango, wherever in the world! Thank you!
While I only started getting serious about photography well after the digital age, a friend once handed me a film camera and I did exactly the same thing…. and all I was greeted with after my shot was the film label on the back of the camera. 😉
Groovy image, and I’m digging your fonts as well! Classic!
It’s such a strange feeling isn’t it but how quickly we adapt to changes. Resistance is eventually futile but the good thing is that it doesn’t have to be either one or the other ie film or digital, we can have fun with both.
Derrick, you have made my day with your comment – thank you so much!
Very New York, Patti – and I loved the post, remembering that click and grooved progression, and, when I was almost broke, travelling, the thought of another dollar into the photographs can, one less exposure left of my precious store … 🙂
Oh my goodness, those days of broke travelling! Looking back I’m not sure how we even managed to leave home ie wasting hard earned money on travel (no return on this bad investment) rather than as a deposit on a house (future security) according to parents and other adults at the time – and to think I thought I was an adult then! But at least we have those photos, so carefully built into the budget and hopefully more memories to enjoy rather than regrets to beat us up. Lovely to share with you that happy click, thank you!
Nice shot – like it
Thank you hellboy – your shots are wonderful!
Thank you 🙂
Neato! I used film until 2004 or 2005. Used to love b&w. I still have my developing gear – enlarger, trays, tongs, canister, red light, black bag…. can’t bring myself to get rid of it all. Even though I will probably never use it again. And I still have my film cameras – the good ol’ Olympus OM1 and the Pentax K1000.
Get yourself into a darkroom and put those treasures back to good use, they are crying out for your excellent keen eye and attention! As indeed am I!
Oh yes, I remember film days vividly. I had blacked out the kitchen window in my Long Beach California apartment so that I could develop b/w film in there (I didn’t cook much anyway in those days). I still have some old slide film in my fridge. Now wondering what would happen if I gave it a try.
Only one way to find out about that old slide film in your fridge and I so hope you give it a try soon! I should love to see the results and I love the thought of you brewing wonderful b&w images in your kitchen!
I have been returning to shooting film recently and I still check the back of the camera. I also realise how spoilt I’ve become with auto-focus and adjustable ISO!
I feel so good about the delete button!
Good morning Patti, hope you’re not too busy because I’ve nominated you to enter the Travel Supermarket’s “Capture tColours” competition. The challenge is to post one photograph in each of the five colours – blue, green, yellow, red and white – to be judged by a panel of photographers – and there’s even a prize! Entries need to be posted by 29 August.
Visit my post: http://thewanderlustgene.wordpress.com/2012/08/14/the-world-in-five-colours/ for the rules and links.
Do hope you have time cause I know you’ll have some awesome shot to enter if you’re up for it!
Meredith @ The Wanderlust Gene
Wow, thank you so much Meredith! Not sure I am up to the challenge but again, thank you for asking and I shall be along soon to investigate!
Of course you are! Go for it, girlie! Doitdoitdoit!
it has a great feel 🙂
and it felt good to do, thanks Joshi!
I bought my first digital around 2000, and used both systems for some years. I loved film, I love digital even more. Now I don’t have to wait…
I have all my negatives and positives (more or less), and wish I could scan them all, but it would be too much.
Lovely picture. A passing reflections with many layers.
And isn’t it wonderful that we can share photos so much more easily! I too love my digital camera, it has given me so much freedom and part of that freedom is the joy in rediscovering film. Going back in order to go forwards, does that make sense???
I remain in awe of your fabulous fishing shots!
Ooweedoooo Patti!! I adored my Canon AE1 back in the day. I cannot begin to count how many rolls of film I developed at the local photo shop. They have since closed. Great memories though. How did the rest of the roll turn out? Fun! Margie
Oh Margie, so many local photo shops have passed into history – who knew it would happen so quickly? One thing I really do miss about film is the fact that you had printed photos to hand. I should print off digital shots far more than I do at the moment. How nifty are you with the printing? As for the rest of the roll, they all turned out fine! I was expecting a small note of regret about poor exposure and difficulty to develop etc ….
Lovely to see you back!
It’s really something just how long a roll of good film can last beyond its expiry date. I once held onto various ISO’s of Fuji Films for a little more that two years by keeping them refrigerated. Every shot had quality.
Exactly! I had forgotten the pleasure that depth of layers bring to the fore in printed film.
It’s funny… in many ways digital is my best friend (especially cost-wise since my complete failure to acceptable failure ration is so high), but I really miss film. When I was in school I was able to process and print it, too (B/W, anyway)… there was something incredibly relaxing about it… and something so magical about the added level of involvement… and watching the chemistry slowly pull that image out. *sigh*
A beautiful example of that magic here, Ms. K… I love all the visual ‘layers’ of interest you’ve created… wonderful! 🙂
One of my (many) regrets in life is that I have never darkened the doors of a dark room. For the pleasure you so well describe, such is the extent of my regret. As it so happens, not so long ago, I did meet someone with a dark room, in Queens, where he develops his own film. He invited me to come and see his dark room which I so wanted to do but I was never in the city when he called my number . . .
SiG, that cost-wise factor in film was such a huge factor in judiciously pressing the finger on the click button but I struggle to think of you with too many in the way of failures!
thanks for that retro feeling …
Retro riding in a red Cadillac from coast to coast taking B & W photos!
Thank you Frizz, always, for your company along the way!
Film is not dead. It’s actually on the rise again, despite the fact that Kodak is filing for bankruptcy. So no need to feel embarrassed at all. I think it’s fun that you loaded that old film and gave a go. It’s really such a different way of shooting, and thus giving quite some different pictures compare to when you shoot digital. I like the one picture you show here. Great reflections and a good play between those and the cityscape in the background (which of course are reflections too).
Otto, how sad is it that Kodak is filing for bankruptcy . . . what happens when you miss that turn in the market colliding with technology. For as long as I can remember I have always enjoyed taking photos but the humiliation of having photos, film, returned with duff shots lingered all the way to the other day and the counter where I handed the canister over.
All the other shots turned out fine but this was the one to happen in a moment, without regard to tech specs and the daunting thought of wasting a frame with costs. You write so well about the process of creativity, not to mention your wonderful shots, and for such I shall always be so grateful. Thank you!
I guess nostalgia isn’t what it used to be, at least for me.
I tried digital and never looked back. I only regret that I didn’t have it when I was taking all the “paper” photos. Working with digital and all its possibilities is close to the process of painting, for people who don’t like to get their hands dirty. I love it, love it, love it!
But the film’s still there for them as chooses it —
You are not alone and we all of us have our comfort zones to enjoy, and share!
Thanks a lot Patti, for bringing back those old days with the emotions attached to it. My first camera was a Kodak. And as you say the pleasure of receiving that envelope with those photographs was wonderful. Great post Patti. You took all of us, in to those old days with your words ad beautiful picture.
Thank you Arindam! I love it when you talk about the old days! 🙂
Ha ! 🙂 I am now old enough to talk about those old days, as I am 28 years old now. Do not you think so! 🙂
OK Arindam, those Kodak memories are an instant qualification, you’re in! 🙂
Ha Ha! 🙂 Thank you!
Let’s call it a Kodak Moment, for old times!
My dad worked as a photographer for much of my childhood and early teen years and he even had a darkroom set up in our garage. I have so many fond memories of helping him out. He still has the equipment but doesn’t use it any more. Before moving overseas, I’d considered using it all to set up my own darkroom, but never got around to it. The smells and the sounds are such a part of my early years!
Alison, I am so envious – you know your way around a dark room! Ad what lovely family memories for you. Your father must have such a wonderful body of work – has he embraced digital?
I’ve been thinking about blowing dust off my old film camera as well. Do you develop your own film? I send mine to some lab.
Cardinal, how I wish I could develop my own film. I take mine to a lab but am seriously thinking about learning how to develop film. Looking fwd to you blowing the dust off your old camera!
You’ve made me miss the experience of shooting with a camera using traditional film. I don’t even know where I’d go to have the film developed.
I’m sure you could find somewhere to have it developed – an old school camera would go so well with your very smart smoking jacket!
It was a great idea to use that role that had been just lying about :), and I know how it felt… Love the pic Patti!
And doesn’t it feel good! Thank you Paula!
🙂 Have a great weekend Patti!
Thank you Paula, same to you!
Great Story Patti , Excellent post again thanks for sharing my friend 🙂
You are more than welcome, thank you Jake!
Beautiful B&W capture! I remember the excitement and anticipation as I look at the newly develop prints. The clicking sound like music to my ears. Now, with digital photos, I hardly develop anything from the photo shop. Thanks for helping me remember.