The Film Challenge Has Begun!


Good Bye Holidays! The adventure has begun. On the first of this year, I started My Film Beginnings Project. I am attempting to shoot at least two rolls of film each month and to make at least one shutter click on a film camera each day of the year. Last year was a fantastic year for me personally and for myself that “end of the year holiday season craziness” was just as special and I was sad to see it go. Happy New Year! 

The Boring Details

As a long time digital photographer, I recently started a project that involves shooting 35mm film. You can find a few of my Street Photography digital images here: 

It will probably come as no surprise that I was able to complete my first of twenty-four rolls by my deadline of January 14th. Isn’t that the way personal challenges always go? We start out strong. Like the first two weeks of the year at any fitness club. Busy busy. And if you were wondering, yes I did take at least one film picture a day as well. I had the first week of the year off from work and that was the biggest reason I was able to complete my first roll by January 7th! 

Police Vest – Minolta SRT 101 – Ilford XP2 Super 400 – Minolta RokkorX 50mm f1.4 – f4 1/1000

He seemed so cold that I guess some WMU Broncos fan gave up their vest for him. If you were curious about the theme “A Vagabond Clutching A Camera”,  the images from this roll are not from any specific event. It’s just me wandering around with a camera in my hand, like I often do, taking pictures. 

Rustica – Minolta SRT 101 – Ilford XP2 Super 400 – Minolta RokkorX 50mm f1.4 – f4 1/125

I’m fortunate to live near the fantastic town of Kalamazoo. There is a small section of downtown that I enjoy walking through. This section of town is maintained well, has a great atmosphere and provides a lot of photo opportunities. 

Look Here – Minolta SRT 101 – Ilford XP2 Super 400 – Minolta RokkorX 28mm f3.5 – f6.7 1/1000

Winter this year has brought a moderate amount of snow for us but the temperatures have been bitterly cold. For the last week of 2017 and the first week of 2018, the highest temperature we saw was 15F (-9C). 

Abandoned Building – Minolta SRT 101 – Ilford XP2 Super 400 – Minolta RokkorX 28mm f3.5 – f8 1/250

On one of those bitter colds days, I spotted this odd building driving out of town and it was one those rare moments we had full sun. I knew using a 40-year-old lens would throw some intense flare from the sun and I wanted to capture it. I accomplished my goal. 

Days Gone – Minolta SRT 101 – Ilford XP2 Super 400 – Minolta RokkorX 58mm f1.4 – f1.4 1/1000

My attempt at creativity for this roll. Again, holding a camera and lens that is at least 40 years old, I thought how appropriate to shoot some storefront signage displaying a “Pulp Fiction” theater advertisement and some MLK memorabilia through two display windows and framed by a curtain of Christmas lights.  

For myself, Roll #1 was a big success. I enjoyed capturing the images and I like how it slowed me down before pressing the shutter. But most of all I enjoyed the process of developing and scanning my own film and bringing the images to life. 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.

Film Challenge Post 2 of 24

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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