Resolutions

For the last few years I've made new year resolutions, it's what got me into photography as a serious hobby, so I've been thinking a lot about what I would set myself this year.

2011-12-Resolutions

2011-12-Resolutions

I want to do things a bit differently this year and focus the resolutions on my photography as it has become a huge part of my day-to-day life. I want resolutions that will allow me to get better and learn a lot in 2012, so I've laid out the following to help me out:

  • My black and white work is going to be shot on one camera, one lens, and one film. For this I'll be using the Pentax SP500, Asahi Takumar 50mm f1.4, and Ilford Delta 100. I want to learn a lot about black and white photography and to do that it needs to have a constant. The developing of this film will be done in Ilford Perceptol throughout too.
  • I'm going to spend more time in the darkroom making prints, even if this is only once a month. I love the manual process of film photography and yet the convenience of a film scanner makes it too easy to rely on that alone.
  • Fun...I want to have more fun with my photography. I now have an Olympus Trip 35, a Holga 120N, 120 wide pinhole, and a Polaroid Land Camera Automatic 100 and want to mess around with different films and processes with these to see what I can get out of them.

I'm quite excited to start to the year ahead now. It's going to be interesting to see what I have learned by this time next year.

What are your plans in photography for 2012?

Festive Shooting

It's been far too long since I stocked up on film properly, the last time was for our trip to Edinburgh Airport last Christmas. I say Edinburgh Airport because our flight to Paris was cancelled due to snow and we took the saddest bus trip back to the house (we made it in April finally). Since then I've only bought a handful of rolls at a time.

2011-12-Festive-Shooting

2011-12-Festive-Shooting

With Christmas offers floating around I decided to take advantage of a few starting with Lomography. Lomography were responsible for the batch of Ilford Delta 100 above with their Christmas offer of 23% off and free delivery on spends over £25. The thing with Lomography is that the more you spend, the more you save so I bought 5 x 35mm and 5 x 120mm. If I'm honest, I've never been a fan of the Lomography brand but this has opened my eyes to them quite a bit - there is no denying their support for film photography.

I also bought 5 x Kodak Portra 400 from a regular supplier on eBay. This wasn't an offer but the spending bug had caught on and it seems a good opportunity to try out this legendary film to capture those indoor, around the table moments with the Trip 35 in it's first social occasion with decent film - I can't wait to use it.

I would have liked to pick up some pack film for the Polaroid but I'm going to leave that until the new year now and when I get the bellows sorted out - they have a gapping hole in the bottom where the join on the bellows has dried out.

Holgarama posted a tweet asking if anyone needed parts for their Holga, they were cleaning out their parts bin so I managed to get a shutter release kit and wide angle lens for £12. I can't wait to get the Holga going again though it is unlikely to be over the festivities.

So that is what I'm shooting, what are you shooting over the festivities?

I hope everyone has a very merry Christmas!

Polaroid Land Camera Automatic 100

In September I bought myself a Polaroid Land Camera Automatic 100. It was a purchase that surprised myself but I was persuaded, not only by a number of photographers who I had followed on Flickr and Tumblr who were shooting with these pack film cameras, but also the people at The Film Photography Project and their podcast which I had been listening to on my walks to and from work.

The surprise to myself was because I hadn't always sympathised with the host of the FPP guys and their love of these "pack-tastic" cameras - only a few episodes into first listening to it I stopped because of the constant Polaroid conversation. It wasn't until I had considered just how rare a podcast devoted to film photography for fun was that I pushed through and started listening again.

When September came around I was officially a Polaroid convert, I had heard the stories of how much people enjoyed the sound of the film snapping out the back of the camera and the buzz from seeing a final printed image minutes after clicking the shutter. I researched the different types of pack film cameras but soon decided on the original Polaroid Land Camera Automatic 100 and gave my money to the people who introduced me to it in the first place at the Film Photography Project Store.

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It was a thing of beauty and I had ordered three packs of film - all Fujifilm FP-100C colour pack film - in a mix of gloss and silk. It only seemed right to load it up and take it with me on one of the walks to work.

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It took a bit of getting used to, but the first thing I learned with this film pack was that it is all in the technique; pull the film image out slowly, smoothly, but confidently. I also learnt that they don't like rain much which caused a few issues. I put a few in my pocket after taking them to peel them later, but this was a mistake; I ended up with an iPhone caked in film chemicals. The chemicals also gathered at the end of one of the image causing the crusting you see - it wasn't ideal but I quite liked it. I soon loaded it up again.

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I now knew how to get a good exposure but there was something missing - these pictures lacked any personality so I needed a better subject. The next day I had decided to put my Pentax SP500 with some Ilford Pan F film to work on some long exposures - a moving tide at the low light of sunrise would be perfect for the job. Unable to put the Polaroid down, I loaded it up with some Silk finish FP-100C and mounted it to the tripod.

This was more like it. I would add though that another thing these pack films don't like is sand as you can see above; laying the image down in my camera bag was a big mistake.

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Next I'm hoping to order some older Polaroid film to experiment with but, just like the cameras, these are harder to come by than the Fujifilm in the UK.