Photo Essay

Film - 10 years later

7-26-09 (Half Moon Bay Ca OTUC #5)

Part 1

After 20 years of voraciously shooting film - 35mm., Polaroid, 2 1/4, 126 (Instamatic), slides, negatives and black-and-white - I was an early convert to digital photography in the mid 90's. I shot both for a while, but when 5 megapixel cameras became available I stopped using film altogether.

Last month I traveled to Korea, on a tour I knew would take me off the beaten path -places where I might not be able to recharge my camera batteries or offload my memory cards. I was well stocked on both counts, but as an extra precaution I decided to take along a couple of single use Kodak black-and white film cameras.

As it turns out they were never needed, and I came back having taken just a few shots for the heck of it. But I wondered what the experience of shooting film again, after 10 years of being all digital, might be like.

These images were shot yesterday on a beach trail in Half Moon Bay, California. $9.99 for 1-hour development and scanning by Wolf Camera. One unexpected and interesting tidbit: In some frames these cheap scans can have slight differences of color associated with different tones. By pushing the saturation a bit you get an effect that resembles what might be achieved with selenium toning. I did that in images #4 and #5.

I still have one camera left.

Part 2

The two most recent images are from the second camera. I handed this one for development and scanning to a Walgreen's store - I was right near it, didn't want to drive to Wolf (there are very few stores left in the Bay Area since their bankruptcy) and figured the quality would be similar. WRONG! The Walgreen's scans are clearly inferior to those from Wolf. But they do have an interesting color cast. So far I've found just two usable frames. I hope you enjoy them!

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13 responses

  • Jim Hart

    Jim Hart gave props (27 Jul 2009):


  • Lise Utne

    Lise Utne gave props (28 Jul 2009):

    These are all great!

  • Juanita Ruffner

    Juanita Ruffner gave props (28 Jul 2009):

    Nice-you've shown b&w are still timeless!

  • Benoît Chailleux

    Benoît Chailleux gave props (28 Jul 2009):

    great series !

  • Simon Kossoff

    Simon Kossoff (Deleted) said (28 Jul 2009):

    fantastic series!!!!

  • Michael Adams

    Michael Adams gave props (28 Jul 2009):

    Awesome. Great to see someone take a step back with film.

  • Michael Risenhoover

    Michael Risenhoover (Deleted) gave props (28 Jul 2009):

    Awesome! But again I cannot find the voting buttons :-(

  • eithne mythen

    eithne mythen gave props (28 Jul 2009):

    Very interesting Alexis, I'm amazed at how good the shots are!!

  • Michael Risenhoover

    Michael Risenhoover (Deleted) gave props (28 Jul 2009):

    Now I can vote :-)

  • Cicely Graham

    Cicely Graham (Deleted) gave props (28 Jul 2009):

    Lovely photos -- nice to see some that are from film.

  • John Linton

    John Linton gave props (30 Jul 2009):

    Hell YEAH! Rad!

  • diana

    diana (Deleted) gave props (9 Aug 2009):

    voted. can't wait to see what you do with the second camera!

  • catharine amato

    catharine amato gave props (17 Sep 2009):

    to be published without doubt!

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