My first attempt at 35mm film

I was born into the digital era. It started with watches, then radio stations, printing and now even banking. Arguably the most significant leap into the digital world of media was the birth of the digital SLR in the late 90’s.

My dad gave me my first SLR. It was his old Minolta X-700 and what a piece it was. Unfortunately as this took place in Africa, the Minolta got nicked before I could develop my first film.

My first job as a photographer was in The Kingdom of Bahrain when a media production company handed me a Nikon D70 and paid me to shoot corporate gigs. After that I moved on to a D2x and my life as a photographer started.

Back then, getting the job done was much more important than learning the history of how we got to where we are today. The camera was simply a tool that documented what was happening in front of the lens. It was all about the time it took to produce the product.

Phil and the others that taught me use to tell me about the lonely hours they had to spend in the darkroom that reeked of horrid chemicals and poisonous acids. In the back of my mind it was almost like I didn’t believe that they had to go through so much trouble just to make photos. For a while I felt lucky that I could embrace today’s technological advantages. But was I really that lucky for missing out of the dark “room” ages?

Several years after I started my photography career in the Middle East, my dad bought me a Pentax K2 from the 70’s at a church charity auction for a mere 10 Rand. It came with a 2X converter, a 200mm and a 55mm f1.8 lens. Everything was full of mould and I used it as a decorative ornament.

The university where I am studying at the moment has fantastic developing facilities for colour and black and white film of all sizes. About a week ago I decided to dust the Pentax off to see if it still works. Apart from the mould in the viewfinder and lens, it worked perfectly.

This was my first experimental attempt at producing 35mm and I’m pretty sure I scanned the negatives the wrong way around. I quite like the noisy nostalgic look of these photos and using film is something I want to explore further. At the end of the day we all learn to walk in baby steps right? Forgive me for using this cliché, but if you don’t know where photography came from, how would you know where it can take you?


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About I AM Photography

Born in sunny South Africa I am an adventure seeker with a taste for beauty and good pictures. I have been in the industry for a couple of years now and learned my tricks from the best.

3 responses to “My first attempt at 35mm film”

  1. Ricardo Vilela says :

    Not bad for 1st attempt, really not bad. Keep and going the nice work. 🙂

  2. anton523 says :

    nice! analogue rocks! can´t wait to get my overhauled nikon f3 back

  3. pixelogist says :

    great post. i was sort of born into the digital world too.. well, i think my dad used a film point n shoot, but i picked up photography and self-taught myself using a digital point n shoot, and a digital SLR.. and only last year came to use my first film SLR.. since then, i fell in love with film…got myself a rangefinder, a TLR, and a couple of toy cameras… and i find myself shooting more film than digital.

    and just a small tip..when scanning ur negatives, turn on ur dust removal thing, or just nab the bits of dust off on photoshop/lightroom etc. i love the grain of film etc, but when dust is scanned, it gives a rather bad look (in my opinion), the bright white spots. keep shooting! cheers

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