I couldn’t help myself I had to get out my film cameras and shoot some analog. So here are a couple photos shot with my Mamiya RB67 and FP-100c instant film. I also took photos on 120mm and 35mm with my Minolta SRT 202. Those will be developed later, so stay tuned. I’m thinking I’ll have those ready sometime next week.
I was shooting a concert in Fort Wort at a bar called the Flaying Saucer (if you’ve never heard of it, I’d say put it on your list of musts) and I decided it was a great time to pull out my RB67. I know I’ve posted quite a bit about this camera, but damnit I love it. I’ve been shooting digital for nearly a decade and I’ve come to a point in my career where I can slow down a bit. Digital photography is great. I would not be the same photographer without it — not even close.
However, digital cameras feel so clinical — cold, I guess. These machines have no soul, no personality — it’s very “what you see is what you get.” None of this is completely negative. In the pursuit of control, which should occupy all photographers chasing light, a camera should perform in that way. It should be mechanical, reliable, and cold.
What I get from my film camera is something different. It’s heavy, it’s limited and it’s manual focus. On top of all that, I love shooting instant film, so there is another complication. Instant film isn’t as easy to work with and get amazing results, but what you get can be great even if it isn’t perfect. Think about this: all the instagram, VSCO, and other nostalgia filters out there are just trying to artificially recreate what I’m getting right out of the camera.
I’m not in the business of pursuing perfection. I’ll let someone else have that headache. I’m more interested in being satisfied with what I’m producing. Sometimes that means getting in there and pushing work out so I can pay bills. Other times, it means smiling and realizing I’m truly enjoying what I’m doing. Perfection doesn’t really do it for me. First, nothing is ever perfect so there is a major cost benefit ratio when it comes to how much a project is worth vs. how much your time is worth. Second, seeking perfection is mind numbing and not at all satisfying — at least not for me. I’d rather produce work that I love.
Below are some shots taken with an RB67, Fuji’s FP-3000b and and FP-100c instant film. Some are double exposure and others are just straight concert shots.
I was covering an event in Decatur, Texas this weekend and took a break to get off the beaten path with Mamiya and some fp-100c instant pack film. There is nothing like pack film. I’m not saying it’s perfect, just the opposite. I love it because I get to take a break from the perfection I get with digital. This stuff is gritty, and beautiful and Instagram can’t get this look.
Last month, I went to a rock festival and shot exclusively with expired and neglected 35mm film. I had several rolls of Fuji 200 and 1600, along with a couple low quality Walmart 400 and some Kodak 800. All of it has been expired for at least five or more years and none of it has been stored properly. So results were less than consistent. I haven’t sent the rolls of 1600 off yet. I shot it all at 3200 so it’ll have to be pushed and I need to send it to a good developer. Below is the best of the rest. I was shooting with my Minolta SRT 201.
So there I was face-to-face with what can best be described as a pulsating throng of my favorite childhood cartoon and science fiction heroes and villains. What could I do but start taking photos? I whipped out my Mamiya RB67 with a Polaroid back, slapped a cartridge of instant film in and started firing. Glorious …
SFX Expo — Irving, Texas