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my first couple rolls of film

A while ago (and I mean a long while ago…) I decided to dive into film photography.  I bought a second hand Nikon F100 and quickly learned the ins and outs of it.  I decided to go with another Nikon since all the lenses I currently own for my D700 would be compatible with it.  The move from digital to film is a HUGE learning curve to say the least.  And I’m only just beginning the process.  I’m excited to continue learning all about it, and thought I’d write about my journey here on the blog.  Maybe you’re starting the switch from digital to film and want to learn along with me?  Or maybe you’re still in the thought process of making the switch and have some questions for me?  Either way, I’m an open book, as always, so I thought I’d document my journey here for ya’ll to follow along… So here some of my thoughts, and three things I’ve learned in my first two rolls of film:

First Roll // Portra 400 // Scanned at Walgreens

First Roll // Portra 400 // Scanned at Walgreens

  1. Getting your scans back is like Christmas day!  Here’s the deal… I hate surprises.  Like, really hate them.   I suppose I don’t hate the surprise itself, so much as the anticipation of it all.  If the surprise is executed well, and I don’t know anything about it until the person actually yells “SURPRISE!” then I guess they’re OK.  But if I KNOW the surprise is coming, then I hate it.  I guess you could say I’m impatient, and can’t stand the wait.  Whatever it is, I just don’t like knowing a surprise is coming.  When we had our third child, I briefly contemplated not finding out the gender because we were equipped for both a boy and a girl since we already had one of each.  But it took me all of .2 seconds to remember that I hate surprises to get that idea out of my head.

    So you can understand how waiting that week or so that it takes to get my scans back is torture for me!  BUT opening that email is an amazing rush of excitement and wonder, very much like a child opening presents from Santa on Christmas morning.  I LOVE IT!

    Portra 400 // Scanned by Walgreens

    From my first roll // Portra 400 // Scanned by Walgreens

  2. It takes a really long time for me to go through a whole roll of film.  Even with my digital camera, I’m not what you would call an “overshooter.”  I may take a few as I’m setting up the shot I have pictured in my head, but then I sit and wait for that moment to hit the shutter.  Sometimes that moment happens fast, other times I have to wait for it.  Other times I have to try and pull that moment out of my clients or my children.  Either way, I don’t blow through 100 images in the process.  But what I’ve found with film is that I’m even less prone to hit the shutter for fear that I’ve already missed the shot (it might be blurry, my composition is wrong, etc.) or that a better moment is coming so I wait even more.  Often times I get distracted (or bored) waiting for “the moment” so I put the camera down and move on.  This means I may get 6 or so shots all at once, and then I won’t pick up my (film) camera for another couple of months.  Hence, I’m almost two years in and I’ve only shot two rolls.  So my goal this year is to shoot at least 6 rolls of film this year.  Someone hold me to it, ok?

    Another from my first roll // Portra 400 // Scanned by Walgreens

    Portra 400 // Scanned by Walgreens

  3. Where you get your film developed and scanned is a HUGE deal.  With my first roll of film I was so super impatient (see item 1, above) that I took my film to Walgreens. That is like cardinal sin #1 of film photography.  I knew better.  All my film friends told me, “No Danielle do NOT use Walgreens!” but I didn’t listen.  I had to see my pictures and just could. not. wait.  Needless to say the scans were pretty horrible.  I had to import them to Lightroom and do quite a bit of tweaking to correct color, exposure, and crop where they hadn’t scanned right.
    Portra 400 // Scanned at Walgreens // Converted to B+W

    Portra 400 // Scanned at Walgreens // Converted to B+W in Lightroom

    So I made sure not to make that mistake with my second roll.  I sent my second roll (a black and white one) to PhotoVision Prints and LOVE the scans so much more than I could have expected.  Any that you see from that set are SOOS (“straight out of scan” – no tweaks in Lightroom).  I will definitely be using PhotoVision from here on out.  Great customer service, very timely delivery of scans, and wonderfully responsive to my inquiries.


Second Roll // Ilford HP5 // Scanned by PhotoVision

Ilford HP5 // Scanned by PhotoVision


Don’t mind the mess in these next few; we were mid-move // Ilford HP5 // Scanned by PhotoVision


Filmy, grainy goodness // Ilford HP5 // Scanned by PhotoVision


Ilford HP5 // Scanned by PhotoVision


Ilford HP5 // Scanned by PhotoVision


Keeping it real, yo! // Ilford HP5 // Scanned by PhotoVision


Thanks for being here!  I hope you’ll join me on my other film posts.  XOXO


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