When visiting my friend Erika at the Peoria Camera Shop for their Sony/Canon/Tamron demo days, I talked with the Canon and Sony representatives about Fujifilm. To my surprise, both of them had only good things to say about them. Agreeing that their crop sensors are incredible, that their medium format is incredible, though slow for the operator of the camera. That their color science is one of the best, and with that, their film profiles.
We got on the topic of using film, and the Sony representative said that he was “using Ektar before you were born.” I followed up by saying I only have beer and film in my fridge, and the Sony rep said “Yup, sounds like a college photo student.”
In the following week, I had an itching to go out shooting, but every day I work, I leave at the peak of golden hour with only about ten minutes left of it until blue hour begins. As I walk home every day, I watch the pink light fade from the white concrete on Watterson Towers, the sky goes from a soft blue with gold in the west and magenta in the east, and finally to a soft gradient purple by the time I get home.
It’s saddening to me for a few reasons. The first is that I don’t enjoy taking photos around campus, unless something really catches my eye (which does happen now and then). I feel like I’m in Photo 1 again just trying to meet the requirements of an assignment. Instead, I just snap pics on my Iphone 8 Plus.
The past few days, the sky has been cloudless, the temperatures have been abnormally high for the middle of December, and I get off work at the end of the best light. There’s only one good thing about that sentence, and it’s not when I get off work or about the temperature.
Out of a need to go shooting, and wanting to get my feet wet for large format, I converted my closet into a film loading closet. I shoved my shirts to one half and pulled out all of the crap on the floor. I gave myself a two feet by three feet space to stand in, with a small table to set the film holders and film on while loading.
After checking the darkness of the closet, it was time to load the first ten sheets of film. I’m not really worried about how the images come out, so I didn’t take the same precautions I normally would, by keeping an air blower in with me or wearing gloves. Chances are, I got some skin oil on those sheets, and there’s probably a good amount of dust on them.
I don’t really care about that though, these first ten sheets are just to get the ball rolling, not to make art. I’ve been watching a lot of Ben Horne videos lately as a way to teach myself about the expectations of large format photography. It’s been interesting to learn, because it feels like I’m learning photography all over again.
Read the first chapter of Freezing Film here