I seem to recall one of my professors in college making a comment that has stuck with me until this day. He was talking about cameras, gear and all the things that you think you need to make great photos when he paraphrased a famous photographer (I apologize that I can’t remember who it was). It was as simple as this “the best camera is the one that you have with you”. That is it. If you really think about it, it is really you need. I know at the time I had to have a Nikon F4, it was legit a ‘pro camera’! maybe it would have helped me take better photos but I imagine I would have been so busy turning knobs and dials and adjusting things and lo and behold I would have missed THE shot. Everyone knows that timing is essential for getting great photos. Capturing the perfect expression, getting the perfect lighting etc…. Don’t let your gear or lack of it get in the way of taking pictures. Grab whatever you have and go out and have some fun. Most of us have amazing cameras built into our phones and old 35mm cameras are super cheap right now. It is a great time to be into photography!
Right now I am enjoying taking my Vivitar PS80 around when I head out. It is so simple just turn it on and Point and Shoot!
Let’s be honest here we all make mistakes at one time or another. We are humans after all and not robots. There is no such thing as perfection. All we can do is strive to do our personal best. The thing that we must remember is to not get too discouraged when we fuck up. We must take a step back and be honest and critical and pinpoint where we messed up and take notes and make sure we correct those mistakes. It makes us stronger, smarter and more confident as we learn from these missteps..
Case in point; as I return to my roots in film photography I am finding myself having to relearn all of the basics that I learned in school 20+ years ago. I studied photography at the dawn of the digital photo age and the demise of film as we wrapped up the 90’s and headed into the 2000’s. I will get into that at another time. As I am getting back into film photography I am digging up old gear, seeking out equipment that I wanted so badly back in the day and funnily enough I recently stumbled upon a box of old film in a recent move. There were a couple of undeveloped rolls. score for me! and quite a few rolls that were exposed, some labeled, however most of them where just in those little plastic film containers waiting to be developed…
I’ve brought a few rolls to my local film lab, lab works here in Ottawa. A great little spot that has taken care of my developing and scanning. I have a simple goal that I set for myself last year. Shoot and develop one roll of film per week. Seems simple enough but with work and life blah blah blah I find myself not shooting as much as I would like and have been digging into the mysterious rolls of film that have been tucked away for 5, 10, 15 maybe 20 years…
So last week I brought in a roll of something that I am sure is ilford HP5 in a bulk canister. I did roll my own back in my college days and have some labelled with hp5 on them so I was sure that’s what this was. Or maybe it was delta 100.. another bulk film I used to shoot. As I am explaining this to the folks at Labworks one of them asks me if it’s Colour film? Well I tell them I am pretty sure, 95% sure that it is black and white as I never had any bulk colour film.
A week goes by and I am off to the lab to get this weeks roll/film/scans. As the woman behind the counter retrieves my film she ask me if I was the the guy last week that was sure that my film was black & white. “Yeah” I say a little bit worried. “Well it was colour and it didn’t really turn out” she tells me. I laughed a bit and apologized and we had a few laughs about the whole thing. I dropped off my roll for this week which I am sure is HP5 because this one has a label and I laughed again as I left. It’s always a surprise picking up your film and this week was no exception!
So yeah I messed up, I didn’t label my film 20 years ago and was so sure it was black & white film, but alas I made a mistake. I will label and date every roll from now on that is for sure!
Here are a couple of those accidental photos, Kodak Ektachrome Slide film developed as Ilford HP5.
It’s the first post on a new site.. So many ideas it’s hard to pick one to start!
At it’s core everything on this website will be about photography, photographers, photo equipment, techniques, etc. I will do my best to share everything I have learned about taking photos from the past 25 years! It is a lot to take in and a lot to talk about but I do think it is now time to start sharing my knowledge about photography. I may stray I may wander but I will make sure it is all relatable to taking pictures and being a better photographer.