I was looking through my collection of images the other day and found myself remembering the last time that I used my film camera. It was almost exactly six years ago and like my previous post, we had once again taken our old Land Rover for a service. On this occasion we opted for Brighton to take a short walk along the front and treat ourselves to an ice cream. It was windy and people were wrapped up against the cold, but determined to make the most of the summer regardless. I chose a higher viewpoint to remain unobtrusive and took a couple of shots.
Of course, in those days I had to wait to finish the film before finding the time to drop the exposed roll in the post and then wait for the negatives to be sent back. During busy times it could take two or three weeks and I always worried in case the film got lost. It was film that taught me to be sparing with exposures and even now, I find it impossible to change. I drive my husband mad by spending up to ten minutes contemplating an image through the viewfinder before deciding it isn’t worth the bother. I won’t use drive mode, but would rather wait for the right moment – the decisive moment, as referred to by Henri Cartier-Bresson.
I miss film. My passion was black and white and I would use either Ilford FP4 or HP5. Both fine films with good contrast, but never over the top. Lovely grain and a joy to work with once scanned. When I first started using slide film, I opted for Kodachrome 64. It liked warm tones and skin in particular, but as I seldom took portraits, I later moved to Fuji Velvia. It has a very fine grain with wonderful saturation and it loves the colours of nature – greens and blues in particular. I haven’t gone digital as such, but film and processing are expensive and I already have a mountain of scanning to do, without adding to the back log.
Maybe one day…