The Film Challenge (Roll 3 of 24)


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.

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:

I was getting burned out on black and white film. If you played the childlike game and said to me “You can choose only color or black and white to create images for the rest of your life, which would you choose?” . . . I would reluctantly choose black and white, admitting that I prefer it to color. Fortunately, it’s a choice I don’t have to make and for my Roll 3 challenge, I decided to shoot color film. I refuse to let winter slow me down and I was able to get through two rolls by my 2/11/18 deadline.

CeleryFlatsMinoltaX700 KodakPortra400RokkorXMD28mmf2.8
Celery Flats – Minolta X-700 – Kodak Portra 400 – Minolta W.Rokkor X MD 28mm f2.8 – f6.7 1/1000

A strike against film, at least for me, is that once you choose to load black and white there is no going back. In my world of digital photography, while shooting, I would find myself in a black and white mood or a color mood. But with digital, if I am shooting in a black and white mood and a color image presents itself I can simply take it. With a black and white film that opportunity is lost. On the other hand, if you wander around with your film camera loaded with color film and one of those black and white opportunities presents itself you can still snap away thanks to the sophisticated image editing tools we have available to us today.

Wooded Trail – Minolta X-700 – Kodak Portra 400 – Rokkor X MD 50mm f1.4 – f5.6 1/500

It will probably come as a shock to regular film shooters that the images shown here are from my first roll of Kodak Portra. Remember, I’ve just recently started shooting film again and prior to that, it was more than two decades ago. I don’t think Kodak Portra even existed at that time. In addition to a roll of Kodak Portra 400, I shot a roll of Fujicolor 200 as well. All of the images in the post happen to be from the Portra 400 roll but it’s not an indication of the Portra being superior for this brief test.

Wooded Lake – Minolta X-700 – Kodak Portra 400 – Rokkor-X MD 35mm f2.8 – f16 1/1000

My preference for these five images can be attributed more to chance and the fact that I had few moments of better light while shooting the Portra roll. The Fujicolor 200 images looked good and a bonus is that Fujicolor 200 costs considerably less. However, the grain of the Portra 400 seemed to be about equal to the Fujicolor 200 with an extra stop of light. I think so many years of digital brainwashing has, unfortunately, forever sucked me into the  “fear the grain” cult. I enjoyed shooting in color and I’m going to stick with it for at least one more segment of My Film Beginnings Project.

Lake – Minolta X-700 – Kodak Portra 400 – Rokkor-X MD 35mm f2.8 – f13 1/1000

Film Challenge Post 2 of 24   Film Challenge Post 4 of 24

I encourage you to follow along on my film adventures. You can subscribe via email or click the “follow” button in the bottom right corner if 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.

You may also like


  1. Hi,
    interesting, … shooting digital, I mostly do it in colour.

    Even when I ‘see’ a b&w scene, I shoot in colour – why should I switch.
    The b&w version I then convert from the colour original.

    With film … as you say … you take your film decision and then … stick to it 😉
    However I never saw this as a limitation 😉

    1. In digital, I actually switch between color and b&w. I shoot RAW + JPG so I don’t why I do this but I use a quick key to bounce back and forth as my mood changes. It’s not an absolute but I do like reviewing the images on the camera LCD in the color choice I intended for the scene.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *