Bringing the “f” Word Back….Film

Well I finally did it. I shot with film! I told my myself that I would not get rid of my Hasselblad when I got a digital camera.  Last week I dusted it off, bought some film and set up a time to go take photos of a friend.  I find myself shooting so many images with my digital camera sometimes and I am not saying this is a good thing.  So I wanted to go out and take some time to compose an image and have to think a bit before pressing on the shutter.  I have a 503cw with no bells or whistles. To summarize this means I do not have a prism view finder so I have to look down into a the camera.  Nor do I have a winder grip so I must have the camera strap around my neck and hold onto the bottom of the camera and wind it manually after each shot.  I have to be very careful with focus, again it is manual.  And finally I had to use a light meter (a what?) since there is not one in the camera.    As if all that isn’t enough I have to actually consider whether I like the shot I am setting up because each roll of film only has twelve exposures and cost a little over $4 per roll.  I had 5 rolls with me that day that means I had 60 images to shoot and then I am done!  Of course there is the additional cost of processing and scanning afterwards so again I chose each photo I took as carefully as I could.  And the final hurdles of using a Hasselblad are composing with the square format rather than rectangular of most cameras and the waist level finder. When using a waist level finder if you want to see more of what is on the right looking down into the camera you actually need to pan to the left.  But all of these things I loved about my Hasselblad when I bought it for school.  It is like an old friend with funny quirks.

As the day approached so did the threat of increasingly colder temperatures and rain.  I called Cailtlin to offer her a rain check (pun intended) for the next day.  She said she was still good to go despite the weather forecast and that it would be fun.  Can I say trooper?!  She was my favorite person in that moment.  I had been wanting to shoot some film for a while now and was all set to go. So I was really glad that she did not allow the threat of loosing feeling in her appendages (which we did) ruin our plans.  I figured I would make it a shoot about colorful coats and scarves and hats.  With the grey we would be surrounded by drab and I wanted some bright colors to liven up the scene.  I came with some options and Caitlin had her closet in her car (again more awesome points for her).  She never complained about being cold and really did an awesome job.

The location I chose was the American Tobacco District.  I had been wanting to check it out for a while now and was not disappointed.  Ironically enough I think the drab day made it easier for us to shoot without getting in anyone’s way because I understand it is quite a bustling area when the weather is warm.  So here are some of my favorites from the first roll I shot. I still have four more to process and scan which I will spread out over the coming weeks.  For now I will just stare at the rolls sitting on my desk anxious to see what images came out in a way I like.


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