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35mm film experiment

written by Em June 3, 2013

I love my digital SLR (& I cannot wait to make the jump to full frame next year) but I really wanted to try and recapture the feeling of shooting film. I missed the faded colours, the shadows, the noise, the wait to see the photos, the excitement as you open up the film envelope. So I bought myself two 35mm film cameras, an Olympus Trip and a Nikon One Touch.

Jon got me some film for Christmas, I shot a test roll for each camera then sat back and waited for the nice weather and the light to return. With our rubbish weather so far this year I’ve had a longer wait than I would have liked but this week I was able to pick up two rolls of film from the lab and look through the results.

The Olympus Trip looks gorgeous and I love the built in light meter but I am useless at judging distance so am finding it hard to nail the focus, that however, is purely down to user error, nothing wrong with the camera.

I had some photos at the start of the roll from the snow at the start of the year and it was a shock to see them alongside the ones from last weekend, shot in the heat and sunshine – another 35mm film joy.

I chose the Nikon One Touch because I wanted a super simple point and shoot, the sort of one my Mum had back in the day. I saw that Tara Whitney had one and bizarrely enough found a bargain one on eBay, I took that as as a sign and snapped that bad boy right up!

I was concerned there may be a light leak as the case was a bit damaged but it didn’t affect the film luckily and the test roll came back fine.

The first photo from this roll is without a doubt my favourite, it perfectly captures Annie’s, ‘mustn’t let Daddy’s sunnies fall off my tiny nose’ face, as well as her attitude. The colouring is gorgeous and it’s a great memory of sitting on the prom enjoying a Mocha Cookie Crumble with my man as the two kiddos run around.

Some of these photos, had I taken them on my DSLR, wouldn’t have made the cull in Lightroom, let alone ended up on the blog, but because they’re from film they feel like they’re ‘worth’ more. I haven’t had to weave my magic with VSCO film to achieve this look, this is just what colours and shadows the film I used produces, and I love them.

I made the decision not to tamper with the photos in Lightroom, I wouldn’t have had the option back when I was at school and I’m determined to keep it ‘old skool’ with these photos. I am really happy with the way they turned out, they almost look like they could have been taken when I was growing up and there is something very nice about having the physical photos in your hand to look at.

I’m less keen on the expense of processing and the ‘waste’, the poorly focussed photos or the ones that simply didn’t work. I don’t feel right throwing them away, but, on the other hand, I don’t want to turn into a crazy hoarder that keeps terrible photographs!

I am really enjoying my 35mm experiment, I am determined to get the best of the focussing on the Olympus and while these cameras won’t ever replace my faithful DSLR they’re damn good fun to play with.

Do you use a film camera, a digital one or your phone?

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