I’ve said before that my first SLR, once I got serious about shooting in 2008, was a Nikon F65 film SLR that my friend Michelle sent me, and I’ve talked about my film learning curve before — learned very little about the technicalities of photography, learned a shitload about composition and what I like in a photo (and also how expensive film is) — and about the fact that I think all photographers who are serious about their craft should have to spend some time with film. Film is not easy, or kind, or forgiving. Film is, in fact, a bitch and a half, and I miss the hell out of it.
Now that the Alpha site has two dSLRs in the household — Six, my D60, and Bob, shep.’s D70 — Boomer is not the primary camera for anyone, and I’ve been wanting to get back to using her some. Film can capture a quality of light (that sort of yellow-gold sunny light that happens on really beautiful days) that digital never seems to, for me, and I’m curious as to what I could do with film in a concert setting now that I know so much more about the technical side of things. It’s a different direction to push myself, but I won’t let myself pick her up until I’ve developed my entire backlog of film. I have half a dozen rolls left to do, and I may just drop those off and blow the cash on the development — about $40 at Walgreen’s — this weekend simply to have them out of the way.
But this is not about Boomer. This is about the as-yet-unnamed Holga 120N (though I’m leaning towards Hera) that Ash gifted me for Christmas; I tentatively loaded a roll of Ilford 100ISO B&W into her last night, and I want to take her for a test drive this weekend. I can’t burn through 120mm film as fast as I burned through 35mm, because a) it’s more expensive and harder to find on sale and b) it’s way, way more expensive to develop.
Despite those things, I’m excited. I love and have loved for a long time the pure aesthetics of well-done Holga photography; the dreamy smear and muted colors (on color film, of course) of it. Peter Ellenby inspired me a lot that way; if he could do that with a Holga in a concert venue, I could do something a quarter as good outdoors, maybe, if I worked at it. And I’m going to. Having to choose my single shot and make it count, that’ll be good for me.
So today, some links that are Holga/medium format-centric, in honor of the new camera:
- Holgarific: Adventures in Medium Format. A blog by devoted Holga photographer (and coffee-lover) Mathias in Berlin. Check out his advocacy for B&W film in your Holga here and his Flickr stream here.
- Lomography Society. Don’t buy medium format gear or film from them — they’re wicked expensive — but you can check out their Ten Golden Rules.
- Shooting with something other than a $5000 dSLR. There’s something to be said for the camera that’s with you; I’ve talked about that before and I believe it.
- How to load 120 film in the Holga. In case you are as terrified of your Holga as I am!
- Four Corner Store came recommended to me as a good place to buy toy camera related gear and junk.
- Holga: Plastic is Fantastic is one man’s devotion to the Holga, with information, tutorials, and tons of images to browse through.
And now it’s your turn to help me: I have no problem sending my 120 out to be developed; I want negatives and digital images back, no prints, and I’m willing to pay shipping and, oh, say, about $10/roll for development and scanning. (There’s a place here that’ll do it for about $20/roll.) I don’t need my images on CD — uploads to a site or emailed zip files will do — as long as the scanning is reasonably high-resolution. Ash says that I should just learn to develop and then do my own film in our bathroom, which is a definite thought, but even if I do that, I’m still not set up for scanning and probably won’t be for at least a year or too, so for now, I need some place to do it for me. Either local recommendations that are cheaper than Southeastern in Carrboro (sorry, Southeastern, I still love you! Just not your development prices) or mail-out places. Anybody? Anybody? Bueller?