Learning Journeys

A Nikon FM2 against a black background.

Two Photographers, One Camera, and the Crushing Disappointment of Film

I’m over it now, the crushing disappointment that is. And there’s a caveat – the film was expired. This was the brief: twelve shots consisting of three portraits, three urban landscapes, three landmarks and three animals. And this is the background: The Two Photographers I’m Joel, a Royal Navy photographer and travel blogger at thebumpercrew.com, …

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Starting to Learn Flash – Hurdles and Discoveries So Far – By Aivaras

First, a disclaimer: This is flash novices experience. I confess, that I have just touched the tip of iceberg with flash photography and there might be a lot of aspects that I haven’t yet grasp precisely. In case you feel that some things need to be corrected or expanded, please feel free to join and add your opinions below – they will certainly be useful to me, and might well be to others too.

And in case you wonder why I would go as far to write all this without being an expert on the subject? The short answer is that because I can… A longer one, would be that starting to learn flash involved a steep learning curve caused by far too many variables and too much information, which in some cases looked like it contradicted itself. Because of this, what I’m sharing here more like “my way to use flash” and much less of “tutorial on how to learn flash”, but hopefully it will be helpful, or at least interesting, regardless…?

My First Two Rolls of Film – HP5+ in a Trip 35 – By Stevenson Gawen

In many years of amateur (at best) photography, I’ve almost entirely used digital since I started with a compact in 2005 or 2006. But recently I’ve been increasingly keen to try going ‘analogue’. Largely as a result of reading 35mmc, I might add!

I already had a nice Olympus Trip 35. It was a present to me from my parents, a year or two, I think, before I went digital. Back then, the cost of film and development, as well as not really understanding how it worked – at the time I would have been 11 or 12 – meant I didn’t do much with it. It sat in a cupboard for the next 15 years (give or take a few) while I progressed through digital compacts, bridge cameras, and finally to mirrorless where I’ve been for the last decade or so. It doesn’t really seem that long.

Homemade Rapid Fixer

Grocery Store Development – Part 3: Fixing Film with Pool Chemicals and Fertilizer – By Josh Vickers

Fixer is both cheap and abundant, which is great for those of us that enjoy developing our own negatives. However, in the search for local alternatives for film development, it presented a problem. Because it’s so easy to acquire, few have bothered to try making it themselves.

This is not to say that no one has; in fact, there is an active community of folks that buy and mix their own chemicals and achieve a high degree of nuanced control over their results. But ordinarily, they buy from reputable photography suppliers and not from the supermarket.

Lighter and higher-contrast photo of a lizard

Grocery Store Development – Part 2: Developing with Caffenol (and Salt) – By Josh Vickers

After my success with reversal processing, I wanted to try my hand at making a homemade developer. Caffenol was the obvious next step, and I, being a temperamental machine fueled and lubed by large amounts of coffee, had certainly run across the idea of developing film in caffeic acid. But I had never felt ready to try an alternative process, possibly wasting film. I had never felt secure enough in what I was capable of. This had changed.

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