So it’s almost April and I am just getting around to posting my February roll of film. If you want to know more about my roll-a-month project you can check out the first post in this series January on Film. My delay isn’t laziness, it’s the difficulty I am having getting film processed. I have been shooting B&W and to get it developed I need to go to a camera store in a Fayetteville, Arkansas – about 45 miles away. They mail it out to Little Rock where they have a store that still processes B&W. Then they mail the roll back to the store and I have to make the drive to pick it up. It’s not expensive if you don’t count the 180 miles of driving it takes to get a roll in and back.
In February I shot my Olympus OM-G – or OM-20 as it is known outside of the US. It was one of the earlier consumer grade OM cameras. The sound of the mirror flopping was a bit disconcerting at first, I turn the sounds off on my modern camera. I came to like it – the mechanical feel of it. I have a motor drive for this camera – I haven’t used it yet but I can only imagine the sound and fury of that mirror flopping in hyper-drive. For this first roll on the OM-G I shot almost all of these shots with the kit lens – a 50mm 1.8 – a pretty fast piece of glass. On my digital camera I like to shoot with the aperture wide open so that the subject is isolated and the background is either blurred or filled with colored disks – bokeh to us shutterbugs. I love bokeh, creamy bokeh, sparkly bokeh – I never shoot a closed down aperture unless I am shooting the moon. On aperture priority on a modern camera this is pretty easy to pull off. On a 30 manual camera with just a simple light meter, it’s not as cut and dry. You have to set the shutter speed too. I did not know it when I shot this roll, but there is a remedial “preview” button that lets you see what the image through the lens looks like with the aperture held open to the setting you select – it does nothing to give you an idea of what will happen if you change the shutter speed.
I shot this roll on a sunny cold Saturday morning – there was frost everywhere. I specifically shot things that had a strong color to see what was left when you take the color away. I also shot some things that had surfaces that light rested on. I did take a couple of shot with my long zoom – 90-230mm. The film was Kodak T-Max 100 speed.
The fun of shooting film is that you don’t really know what you have until after you drive that 180 miles and fork over 6 bucks to see the finished product. I wouldn’t say these were the best shots I’ve taken. Overall everything is a bit softer than I usually like, but there were a couple of shots I really liked.
Vivitar 90-230mm f4.5
Of course – I had to try to get a bird shot in.
I’ve actually shot 2 rolls in March – I need to get them over to Fayetteville to see what I’ve got. I shot the first roll before I picked these up and shot mostly with the zoom. The second roll was shot with an OM-1 with some new glass I recently acquired so I’m anxious to see what I can do with it. Honestly, I think I am starting to regain the feel for using these old cameras, it’s like muscle memory. It’s been almost 30 years since I shot one so I was more than rusty. More importantly, focusing on the fundamentals makes me more aware of what I am doing on my modern camera – I am refining some of the settings I use, I am taking more care in focusing, I am shooting more like film.
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Always wanted an OM- OMG simply because of the name 😀
LOL – it’s an awesome name!
I just want to bask in the sunshine on that ladder. Beautiful!
Thanks – on this rainy day I would like to be in that sunshine too 🙂
I love the black and white. I like the portrait of Judy best, too.
I think that was the best shot of the roll. Thanks!
Awesome shots, Lorri. The shot of Judy is way cool! Happy Easter!
Thanks Paula – Happy Easter to you too!
Very nice, Lorri. I love the soft edges and the shot of Judy is just lovely.
The second icicle shot is amazing.
Thanks Vicki. I found that consumer cameras of the era have a very basic focusing screen – so softness is a byproduct unless you take a great deal of time. Today I was shooting the OM-1 and really can appreciate the better optic – even so I like the softness. Judy is such a good sport – I shoot her often. The icicles were a nice surprise.
I’ve been contemplating a visit with my old manual camera. In a world where we’ve come to expect instant gratification, it can be enjoyable to slow down. I have my day’s old Argus, I don’t know if it works even, but it might be fun to see what comes out. I also have a Pentax that I learned on, and lots of film in the freezer! You’ve motivated me, thanks!
I’ve found that most old cameras work just fine. My first roll was shot in a 1930’s Rolleiflex that I bought online. It has screws missing from the prism frame – but it works. There are lots of great Pentax lenses out there for next to nothing.
Great shots, Lorrie. I like the shallow DOF. Have you ever experimented with putting a piece of nylon stocking or net over the lens? It changes the shape of the bokeh to whatever material you are using and it can lend itself to some star-burst points if positioned just right.
Watching your progression through B&W film is a lot of fun and it brings back fond memories.
We did do that in college – gauze, panty hose, anything with a tight weave. I was explaining the term “gaussian blur” to some of the designers who work for me – their whole photographic experience is likely digital so the idea of gaussian meaning gauze had no connection. I should try that again. We also used to put vaseline on a filter over the lens. I am really having fun with this project.
Have you tried the net-over-lens on a digital camera? I had not even considered the possibility that it might not work with pixels, as opposed to film grain. I am officially ‘old’.
No – I haven’t tried it but I think I’m going to 🙂 I wonder if it would create a moire.
If it does, you can say: Moire will be revealed.
LOL – good one 🙂
Great as usual Lorri. I love these shots. I love b&w photos. They seem softer and more inviting. Does that make sense? My favorite is the icicles. I would love that blown up and mounted to hang on my wall!
Thanks – it does make sense. We have become obsessed with sharpness in the digital age, I wonder it it’s why we love instagram so much. I like the icicles a lot too – they were one of those ideas that came out better than I thought they would.
OM-G omg! Mad skills, Lorri. What a fun project. I learn something new each time I visit.
Thanks Honie – I love the title on that camera – it cracks me up every time I look at it. I am really enjoying it.
Wow these are brilliant… I also like the circular blur of the items out of focus… and the portrait photo in B& W is just brilliant specially with the shadows…
Thanks Bulldog – I am getting the feel for it again. I think the portrait is my favorite shot.