Monday, 8 October 2012

Film Photography on the South Coast!

A little while back, Charlotte and I took a quick trip down the South Coast just after I finished my MA. With a trusty 1980's Canon AE-1 Program in hand I decided to start having a go at some film-based photography. Both as a bit of creative fun to have on the trip, and means to help me understand some of the finer points of shot composition. 30 years later it's still doing the trick, and I managed to get some pretty good looking pictures. Not bad for a first time go with film. The images below are just a small selection of about 60 or so. The AE-1 is absolutely brilliant, and anyone looking to start up some amateur film photography should definitely give that camera a try.

 My cheap scanner at home has done some nasty things to the images, so I'll endeavor to get the whole lot scanned in at higher quality. It's been one of the more satisfying creative projects I've done recently.  Digital camera's are fine but there is nothing quite like having a limited amount shots, the nervous wait while your film is developed and the satisfaction of having the photo's in hand. I can't replicate that experience and the actual quality of the photos on a screen, but this will have to do. I just love the way the personality and nuances of a camera and film imprint itself on an image. It's rather sad knowing it's a dying art outside of enthusiast circles. I'll be keeping the flame alive however!


tutorphil said...

Hey Tom - lovely to see these - and those focus-pushed shots looking down the cliff and across the groynes are particularly effective. These images such project so much melancholy - LOVE off-season seaside towns - so filmic and narrative somehow.

Jordan Buckner said...

Really lovely stuff Tom. There's something about the colour and imperfection that often occurs with film photography that really stands out. How did you get started? I've been meaning to start trying out some film stuff but I don't really know where to begin.

Tom Beg said...

I might of fallen to my death if it was windy. Robert Capa would of been proud!

@ Jordan. I've never done film photography before, so that will probably tell you how easy it can be with the right camera. Luckily I had an old camera lying about, which I knew sort of worked . Otherwise, I'd look around for a relatively commercial 35mm SLR from the 1980's onwards, if you're after something quite retro (they go for peanuts these days, and parts can be easily replaced if broken etc) and just give it a go. It's all I did. Ebay is the place to get the camera and Youtube is great for tutorials on how to use specific types of cameras. Commercial camera's are helpful for newbs like me because they have systems to help you get a correctly exposed image each time.

My one tip would be, If you can find some old dud film then it's good to practice loading the film first. Which even I got wrong a couple times.

Independent camera shops are usually good for getting the film developed.

Hope that helps! Let me know if you've got any other questions!

Jordan Buckner said...

Thanks Tom :) Over the last year or so I've really been trying to improve my photography and now I feel confident enough to start tying new things. I did some old film work in my foundation year, developing in a dark room etc, which was great fun so I'll definitely give this a go.