First, I have a story to tell about the digital cameras I’ve laid my hands on for the past 3 years. Last summer, I had to return the Pentax Kx I’d been using to my sister after our one-year camera exchange. My sister always thinks the exchange is unfair (haha). I exchanged my Lumix lx3 (a point and shoot camera) for her Pentax Kx (a dSLR camera). After one year, a friend of mine M helped me bring my sister’s Pentax back in Vietnam from the States while another friend K brought lx3 to Holland from Vietnam. It’s kinda complicated, isn’t it? But that didn’t end there! I lent my lx3 to that friend K when she went to Belgium during last year winter break and it was stolen at Brussels train station. I never saw my “Dế con” (or “little cricket”, yes, this is how I call my lx3 haha) again. It’s really sad because I hadn’t spent much time with him after he made a long journey to come back to me. Now I’m using my dad’s Nikon D5100, which is a good entry-level dSLR.
Even though I like taking photos with all of the mentioned cameras, there’s something missing that I couldn’t explain that leaves me unsatisfied.
I bought my film cameras from ebay last summer when I was in US. I decided to take photography seriously and I thought film photography would give me something I need, something that digital photography couldn’t. The film cameras were really cheap and I also needed something to replace the gone Pentax.
I got all of the films in my Minolta X570, and Yashica GSN35, and my dad’s Canon AE1 (this roll stayed in the camera for 3 years…) developed and scanned a couple of days ago. I use Minolta the most among the three. I got two rolls taken by this camera developed and printed last summer when I was in Holland. The first roll told me the camera worked perfectly. But it took me so long to finish the second and third roll.
I feel the joy of shooting film when my heart beats so fast every time an image appears in front of my eyes. Those bits and pieces of my life from last year become vividly alive. Time flies! I never feel this way with digital photography. Maybe because with film, after a shot is taken anticipation is built in a really special way. You’re all excited loading a new roll of film. You take a photo but unable look at the outcome immediately. You keep shooting until the roll is finished. Sometimes your busy life keeps you away from the camera for a while and you kind of forget about the unfinished roll. You come back to finish it someday because you desperately want to know, to see, to remember what you have seen through the lens of the camera. But you still have to wait until it gets processed. The whole process of shooting, waiting and more waiting does actually exist this hurry world and it makes a film photo precious to look at. Film isn’t just a medium, it’s a lifestyle. It’s all about delayed gratification. I’ve never been a patient kid but with time I have learnt the art of waiting. : ) (But it seems that I instead made my films wait for so long this time haha).
These film photos are “old” but they are also “new”. How amazing is that?
There’re many failed exposures due accidental shutter releases, light leaks, and poor focusing. There’re some shots I don’t even remember having taken. I took my Minolta to a camera repairman yesterday and I’m so glad that it’s still working after I dropped it so hard a few months ago (I was so shocked back then seeing the filter broken but the camera was still in one piece!). I bought a new filter for my lens yesterday and a customer there looking at my broken old filter saying that he’d been shooting for more than a year but never dropped his camera or his lens. I can see the “WOW!” in his eyes when he’s looking at me. Thanks to the filter there’s no damage on the lens. I’m super lucky!
I think I should have some sort of film shooting diary to note the time, film type, and camera that have been used. It’s got confusing already with just a few rolls!
Speaking of which, I still have a roll of film lost somewhere in my warehouse which was taken on my 10th birthday but never got developed. Should I be looking for it now? Or is it too late? : D