Film Once A Day – The Challenge


In the fall of 2017, I rediscovered film photography and I was surprised how much I enjoyed it. To keep myself motivated I created My Film Beginnings Project which is a challenge to myself to shoot at least two rolls of film a month and to take at least one film image a day for the year of 2018. I didn’t realize how hard the second part of that challenge would be. I have been shooting digital photography essentially since the days it was first available. I enjoy shooting “Street Photography” style (whatever that is?) and if you’re interested you can find some of the images here:

BarberShop – Minolta X-700 – Svema Foto 400 – Minolta Rokkor-X MD 28mm f2.8 – f8 1/60

But why is at least one film image a day so hard?

The challenge has made me look at my life in a different way. The very first week of 2018 I happened to be on vacation and shooting a film image a day was doable. But even then, the highest temperature the entire week in my area was 15F (-9C) and getting outside to shoot on film let alone digital was a challenge. I’ve always preferred natural light photography over indoor photography. Once my vacation ended and I was back to work I realized that I’d be driving into work in the dark and on most days it would already be dark once I left work to return home. The season of winter has it’s unique admirable qualities but it still seems excessively restrictive and depressing when it comes to enjoying the day to day life outside of our careers.

Its Everywhere - Minolta CLE - Ilford XP2 Super 400 - Voigtlander 40mm f1.4 - f4 1/750
It’s Everywhere – Minolta CLE – Ilford XP2 Super 400 – Voigtlander 40mm f1.4 – f4 1/750

Do our careers consume too much of our time? It’s a subject that I’m sure thousands of words have been dedicated to but when you “challenge” yourself to find enough daylight to simply press the shutter button on a film camera once in a day and it really does become a challenge, it’s hard not to question if we are spending our time appropriately. Why haven’t we, as a society, evolved to create more time for family, friends and personal fulfillment? Yes, it’s a difficult question but it does seem odd that we’ve settled on a norm that has us devote an equal amount of time or more to our careers as we do to pursuing our own happiness. On the other hand, this challenge of One Film Image A Day and these depressing thoughts, have forced me to be more appreciative of moments with my family and friends and I’m thankful for that.

Tracks – Minolta X-700 – Svema Foto 400 – Minolta W.Rokkor X MD 28mm f2.8 – f11 1/250

At this time I have no intentions of giving up my Film Once A Day challenge but I have decided to make an effort to use artificial light more often while capturing my film images. In the digital world I’m fairly comfortable with using other light sources in photography but of course, I always have that crutch of being able to review my lighting and adjust accordingly after taking that first shutter click. With film, no such luck. However, I’m looking forward to trying out other means of light as I move forward with this challenge. 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.

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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