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