Film Photography. Where do you begin?

Hello! I’m an amateur photographer who dabbles in a bit of Street Photography. You can see some of my images here: If you’re considering film photography or already take part in film photography, please read on as I plan to talk about my beginnings.

Beginning January 1st, 2018 I’ve decided to commit to shooting at least two rolls of film per month and to do a 365-day film photo challenge. Along the way, I’ll blog about my experiences here. The 365-day film photo challenge will require me to shoot at least one film image each day for a year. I decided not to impose any other rules for both of the challenges. The images for both projects can be of anything and for any reason. At first thought, it seems easy enough but what you don’t know is that prior to November 2017 I had not shot on film in over 15 years. Because of that, Film Beginnings is now born and I’ll start with a brief history of what led to this adventure. Also, because it will be a few weeks before my first roll of 2018 is shot and developed, I’ll continue to blog about my beginnings in film photography.

Dog Biscuits, Film Beginnings, First Film Roll, Minolta SRT-101, 50mm f1.4, Ilford XP2 Super 400
Dog Biscuits, Film Beginnings, First Film, Minolta SRT-101, 50mm f1.4, Ilford XP2 Super 400

As I was thumbing through some images on the web, as we all do, a question popped into my head. Why would anyone use a film camera to create a photograph? This thought occurred after I paused on a photograph that intrigued me and the caption under the image indicated it had been created on film. And so it began . . .

I’ve read that some photographers believe using film forces them to slow down and because of this, the experience of photography is more enjoyable. But where do you begin? The first camera I ever owned was a Canon AE-1 Program some 30 years ago. I googled Canon AE 1 Program and was surprised to discover how plentiful these cameras are today. A little more “research” and I was beginning to slip down the rabbit hole.

Common sense told me I’d need a film camera, film and a means to develop the film. I didn’t want the adventure to be expensive so I bought a Minolta SRT-101 for $25 and a few rolls of film because the Minolta SRT-101 was recommended as an inexpensive 35mm SLR with a solid reputation for a person wanting to experiment with film photography. Once I had everything, I remember thinking “This is going to be easy.” Wow! Was I wrong?

I’ll save the troubles I had getting started for my next post but in the meantime, I’ll leave you with one of the first film images I’ve created in over a decade. The image is nothing special, but because the Minolta SRT-101 was produced at least 40 years ago, I decided to shoot a test roll using most of the camera’s shutter speeds and confirming the camera’s light meter against a handheld reliable light meter. I encourage you to please follow along. You can subscribe with your email or click the “follow” button in the bottom right corner is you’re a WordPress reader. In addition, until my next post, I’ll provide you with a great resource for anyone considering or who is already interested in film photography.

The Film Photography Project

Shed, Film Beginnings, First Film Image, Minolta SRT-101, 50mm f1.4, Ilford XP2 Super 400
Shed, Film Beginnings, First Film Image, Minolta SRT-101, 50mm f1.4, Ilford XP2 Super 400

Camera Donation Page

My Film Beginnings Project has also intrigued me to try using other 35mm film cameras along the way. If you have a working 35mm film camera that you no longer use please take a look here to see what I’m thinking. Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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