My first roll of film. HP5

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With the great facilities that I can use in my school, I decided to venture into film photography. I borrowed a Pentax K-1000 with a 50mm and a 28mm lens from our Kit Room at school. Then I bought a roll of film, Ilford HP5 400 from our campus shop.

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At first using a fully manual camera isn’t that hard but one thing is manual focusing. As I wear spectacles, it’s so hard to see clearly in the viewfinder, and if I try to find the focus for a longer period then my specs will start to fog up. Very irritating, but other then that shooting film on a manual camera is fun.

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Shooting film makes me think so much more before I press the shutter. Unlike digital I can shoot first then see what setting to change from the camera playback, while when you are using a manual film camera you need to know what you want and what to chose before every shot. It’s challenging but surely a good exercise for my photographic knowledge.

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It’s hard to capture that ‘moment’ that you are not expecting with a film camera, maybe I just need more practicing. For example the photo above, I saw the couple walked pass me and into a path, I thought it would be great to take a photo of them holding hand from their back in this surrounding. But after struggling to focus on them and the insecurity of pressing the shutter even-though I think it was a great composition, made me missed that moment and only manage to get them small in the photo.

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I think is much more easier to get that ‘moment’ while I am ready, I framed, set the exposure and focused then I just wait for my subject to get into the place I know hes going. I remembered from a documentary I saw of Henri Cartier-Bresson, he said that sometime he will wait for hours before someone to get into hes photos, even waited days for some.

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zone focusing are also useful when you are dealing with manual lenses.

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I also developed a film for the first time, as I was using a black and white film I can’t use the machine to develop it. I need to do it manually, which is very challenging, luckily my course mate, Tiddy helped me a lot. It took so long to develop a roll of film, I underestimated the time need and it made me missed a class. 😦

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Overall a great experience trying out shooting film for the first time for me. So I checked out 35mm film photography on my list, whats next? Medium Format of course. 😛 Okay, I’ll go and check for the price for a roll of medium format film now. 😀

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