Friday, 7 February 2014

Returning to Film Photography.

After a rather long hiatus (over two years!), I'm taking the plunge and getting back into film photography. My beloved Praktica LTL has been removed from the deep depths of my Lowepro Nova 190, dusted off, and had new film put in. There's just one problem....I can't for the life of me remember how to use it! It was my trusty companion for a long time, it came with me everywhere. I was well and truly obsessed, and now, all of a sudden, I've forgotten everything. 

My Praktica LTL cost me about £20 on eBay, it was a bit of a risky purchase as the seller didn't know if it worked or not, but I went for it and was so happy to find it worked perfectly! It came with a lens which I wasn't too keen on, so I went back to eBay and bought a Helios 28mm lens for around £10. Best purchase ever, it's my favourite lens, it's just beautiful, it captures colours so wonderfully and is super sharp. Russians definitely gave us one thing; cheap but awesome camera equipment! 

So the reasons why I'm exploring film photography again? See the photos below. Just the crispness and image quality that you really can't get from DSLR's. Also it's much more fun than digital photography!

This photo of Meyer Lemons in the old garden is one of my favourites. They may look like lemons, but they're actually a cross between a lemon and an orange, and they taste delicious! It took us ages to work out what they were, and lots of arguing over whether they were oranges or lemons, as they look like lemons but taste like oranges, but after some googling we finally found out that they're actually a cross.

This is Jack, the cat. He's a stroppy bugger who chases your hands and pushes his head under them when he wants cuddles and strokes, but if you try and stroke him when he isn't in the mood, he'll swipe you. He loved sleeping on the front porch at the old house, and as I was trying to focus the lens he woke up and gave me that 'you're disturbing my sleep' look that you can see here. I love how crisp this photo is; the brightness of his eyes and how you can see every hair on his face and shoulder so clearly.

This one is slightly out of focus and over-exposed, it was one of the first photos I took on my Praktica when I was still getting to grips with it.

I think the photo below shows the true quality of the lens; the colours, the sharpness - just look at the detailing of the creases and shadows on the green sweater C is wearing. My composition isn't great with this one as it's quite hard to get an 'au naturele' candid photo with a manual focus when you're pointing the camera right at the people you're photographing, so it's not exactly straight, but it's all a learning curve!

This one was taken at Vasse Felix in Margaret River, I accidentally opened the back of the camera so the light got in and 'ruined' this photo, but I actually really like the burnt orange effect on the sculpture!

The photo below is of C taking a photo of me taking a photo of him. He used my Nikon D40X, I used the Praktica LTL. Underneath this photo is the one C took of me on my DSLR, you can see the difference in image quality straight away - the colours just aren't as sharp or crisp as the Praktica.

These two were taken at Ricey Beach on Rottnest Island, it's one of my favourite beaches, and I just adore how the camera and lens capture the different colours of the ocean and reef. When I was back last year, I found my GF3 made the colours of the ocean look quite washed out, they just don't even compare to these ones.

The next two were taken at Point Walter on the Swan River, I just love the old fashioned quality they have, and the one of me has the great depth of field.

This last one is my best friend in Australia on Cottesloe Beach. Even though this was taken at the end of the film and is a little out of focus, I absolutely love it.

Have you ever tried using an old fashioned film camera? If not you can get them super cheap on eBay, just make sure it works and isn't damaged, and don't pay too much! I'll be sure to keep you updated on my quest to return to film photography, and will upload photos when I get them developed.



  1. Wow, all these photos are beautiful!
    I have seriously been considering turning to film cameras to improve my photography, especially because I like the idea that you only get one shot so you have to get everything right and be as creative as possible. Instead of using DSLRs where I am very snap happy and take multiple photos of everything which don't turn out 'perfect' because I didn't have any patience to set it up correctly.

    Definitely going to take a look into some cameras with your recommendations!
    ~Hannah xx

  2. Lovely shots! I returned to film photography myself this year after a decade or so of exclusively shooting digital and getting seriously into photography. I'm mainly shooting black and white at the moment and developing my own film and it has completely reinvigorated my love of photography. I. too, was getting tired of the digital look and find a naturalness and warmth with film that somehow gets washed out of digital images. In my case, being a Canon shooter and having collected a lot of Canon lenses for my dSLRs, I hunted down a Canon Elan 7E and even an EOS 650 - the first EOS - to use as film bodies for my lens collection. Once bitten with the film bug, though, it's hard to stop. I've since picked up a couple of Contax bodies and some fine Zeiss lenses, and am just about to get a Rolleiflex 3.5F. Film is most definitely back for me.

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