Thoughts on Shooting Film

My First Ever Roll of Film and My Love for Light – by Joshua Nutz

A few days ago, I got the scanned pictures of my first ever film. Surprisingly, the photos turned out pretty well, but much more than that, they really showed the reason why I love photography: my love for light and the beauty of everyday life.

Let me start this story from the beginning. I am 23 years old, thus started photography the digital age. I took pictures for many years without even thinking about trying out analog, but thanks to all the analog hype, I started looking into what the fuss is about. After a few weeks researching, lots of youtube and sites like that, I had the urge to buy an analog camera and try it for myself.

A few days later, I had a Minolta x300 with the standard 50mm f/1.7 lens loaded with Kodak ColorPlus 200 to try out this cool new (old) thing. I really don’t want to write an article comparing analog to digital, because you’ve probably read enough articles like this (and who am I to compare after just one roll). But I’d like to tell you about the feelings I had shooting analog for the first time.

It took me about two weeks to fill up the roll as I was really careful with the number of pictures I took. I mean, every picture costs money. Still, the Minolta was with me every time there was even the slightest chance of an interesting picture. That’s the first surprise for me. Even though I have taken less images per shoot, I still went out with my camera much more often than in the past with digital.

I had nothing in particular in mind when shooting, I really just wanted to get my 36 exposures to see if the camera works as it should, which, what I didn’t know back then, didn’t. The shutter speed is stuck at 1/60, no matter what my settings are, but nevertheless, and quite surprisingly, all pictures were pretty good.


The thing I draw inspiration from the most is light. It really feels that simple. I love the sunrise and the sunset. I love the golden light that hits the wall in my room at the right time. I love strings of light peeking through the forest in the morning. I love the candyish color the sky has after the sun is gone. For me, the subject doesn’t really matter if the light is right and when that happens, everyday life becomes as beautiful as it gets.

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I am very aware of that by now, but it took me 36 exposures of film, to see that that’s what I like to take photos of. It’s like I found a new genre of photography for myself. I was never shooting everyday scenes before, but with the Minolta in my hands and beautiful light in the sky, I was stoked to try to make “normal” scenes look beautiful. I really tried to emphasize the light and so it happened that most of the pictures I took had a lot to do with this sort of light.

Enough of light for now. After the earlier mentioned two weeks the film was full and I sent it to an online film developing and scanning company in Germany. Even though I hadn’t seen the results yet, I was in love with shooting film. I had so much fun handling the old camera and taking it with me everywhere I go, looking for scenes I could take pictures of. And I hope that that’s a thing that I can take over to my digital photography, to just take my camera with me as much as possible, because you never know when there might be a rainbow.

  

What I mainly took away after my first ever roll of film are two things:
1: Great lighting can happen anywhere and I love to take photos of it.
2: Everyday life can be just as beautiful and interesting, as a planned shooting.
Analog photography seems to kind of emphasizes that, but in my opinion, these things can be transferred to digital photography as well.

I hope that you enjoyed my post, and maybe that next time you look through the viewfinder you can see with the eyes of a first-time analog shooter and maybe you will catch something I talked about in this article. Most importantly, I hope that you liked reading it.

Thank you for reading and shoot on!

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16 Comments

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Rob
    July 11, 2019 at 10:15 am

    You’ve got a good eye for photos. Keep up the good work.

    • Avatar
      Reply
      Joshua
      July 11, 2019 at 10:38 am

      Thank you so much, Rob!

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    Reply
    John Haney
    July 11, 2019 at 10:21 am

    Great story !

    Photographer’s description of ‘light’ reminds me of my own first thoughts about light…….50 to 60 years ago.

    • Avatar
      Reply
      Joshua
      July 11, 2019 at 10:37 am

      Thank you, John. I’m looking forward to see how my thoughts about light will change in the next years.

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Ivan
    July 11, 2019 at 10:22 am

    Nice set of pictures, Joshua. It’s always nice to see people discovering film photography and enjoying it. Keep it up!
    Ivan

    • Avatar
      Reply
      Joshua
      July 11, 2019 at 10:35 am

      Thank you very much, Ivan!

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Martin
    July 11, 2019 at 11:36 am

    Not bad for a beginner 🙂 Keep up the good work!

    • Avatar
      Reply
      Joshua
      July 11, 2019 at 11:39 am

      Thank you, Martin😃

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Nigel Cliff
    July 11, 2019 at 2:50 pm

    As someone who shot their first roll of film on anything like a serious camera back n the 1960’s it’s interesting to see the reaction of someone who has their first experience in the digital age,glad that you enjoyed it

    • Avatar
      Reply
      Joshua
      July 12, 2019 at 9:22 am

      I did very much!

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    Reply
    Robert
    July 11, 2019 at 8:40 pm

    Beautiful photos, Joshua! I don’t think my first roll of film was half as good as some of these you shot here. Keep up the great work!

    • Avatar
      Reply
      Joshua
      July 12, 2019 at 9:22 am

      Thank you, Robert!

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Sroyon
    July 11, 2019 at 11:18 pm

    Nice read and nice photos, thanks for sharing! I was recently reading an obituary of Jane Bown, which mentions her preoccupation with light (there are numerous references to light scattered throughout the article). If you try shooting black-and-white at some point, light probably becomes even more important.

    • Avatar
      Reply
      Joshua
      July 12, 2019 at 9:42 am

      Thank you, Sroyon and thanks for sharing the article. I didn’t know Jane Bown but her pictures are fantastic.

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    Reply
    eric
    July 12, 2019 at 9:11 am

    Joshua : Bravo !
    – great camera, great lense
    – great eye
    – great light
    – great composition
    – great results.
    Thank you so much

    • Avatar
      Reply
      Joshua
      July 12, 2019 at 9:42 am

      Thank you very much, Eric😃

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