heart sprayed on a sign in the fields
Learning Journeys

My First Time Discovering Film – By Bananciat

September 19, 2021

Backed by a probable longing for something more tangible and needing a change from the mindless snapping that it so readily fired via the iphone camera, it was about time for me to explore the medium of film photography.

After some digging on the World Wide Web (with the help of 35mmc), I ordered my first film camera off a Japanese camera shop on Etsy, and a week later it arrived at my doorstep. An Olympus superzoom 120. According to what I read, it’s ideal for a beginner in film.

Not possessing a whole load of knowledge in this field, I was excited to embark on this novel adventure. I popped in a golden kodak film stock, and I let my instincts take the reins. And Lo and behold, I was taking it along as a partner in my everyday activities. I figured I would dedicate my first roll to capturing moments in my everyday environs here in Switzerland. So, I did trial shots on chairs, sheets drying in the sun, a spinning umbrella, golden-hour scenes and right at dusk moments. While I was cautiously snapping about, I realized halfway through the roll that I was shooting on Panorama. But that made for some happy accidents.

spinning umbrella in the sun

sheet drying the sun

man on swing

When I got the roll developed, I was moved and surprised. Some shots were out of focus, blurry, not very well framed, and finally just not what I had imagined beforehand. The first time I was looking at them, I was struck with a vehement nostalgia for a pre-digital-everything era. The grain, not being able to see all the details present, gave a special softness to the shots that felt comforting to my eyes.

I found the experience with shooting on film so refreshing and astonishingly fluid. There was such a lightness to it, and consequently I just fell in love with the whole process! There was a certain reverie that accompanied it.

In a way, it’s almost meditative in how I experienced some frames. You really are so very immersed in that physical moment of time and space, that you let your mind run on autopilot. It’s precious to harness that, I believe, especially when capturing moments in a comparable state of mind. My hands were getting used to grasping the camera and my eyes were slowly finding a rhythm. When I did find that “something” in a scene that made me want to point and shoot, I noticed that it took me a couple of minutes to get the framing and composition according to how I wanted it.

Nonetheless, the “slowness” of it was inspiring and somehow had a sense of satisfaction. I can’t forget to mention the cliché-ness about holding this sort of device in your hand that has a slight weight to it, makes the process ever so real and so alive. Also, the immediate inaccessibility to the pictures eased my creative spirits. I didn’t know what I was doing, but I was doing it and it was in the doing that I was starting to feel like it was maybe the beginning of something (or so I said to myself).

flying plastic bag

cross in a backyard

box with "time to believe" written on it

lamp post

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  • Reply
    Des McSweeney
    September 20, 2021 at 9:43 am

    I think there is a real charm about these photos both sharp and blurred – umbrella, sheet and cross are really excellent. I am sure this will inspire you for more! Des

  • Reply
    September 21, 2021 at 10:54 am

    Thank you so much! Appreciate it

  • Reply
    Bill Brown
    September 22, 2021 at 7:27 am

    Just photographed a dear Uncles graveside memorial today. Each moment thought out for the family and myself. This is one of the things I love about film and now I have a tangible object to hold as I fondly recall his life. My best to you in your newfound film adventure and don’t ever lose that sense of awe and discovery of the world around you every day. Also, the photos are for your enjoyment, no one else. Don’t get hung up on what others think is right. Shoot what triggers your emotional memory and it will have an immediacy for you every time you look at it.

  • Reply
    September 23, 2021 at 3:27 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing this-your words inspire me! I will definitely keep this in mind whenever I’ll have my film camera turned on.

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