My love affair with photography was rekindled in 2015. I have stopped taking photos for almost 5 years, but I decided I had to go back. It was a hiatus that ended out of sheer determination to move on and forget what others would say.
That same year, a Canon AE-1 was sent to me from the heavens above.
It was given to me along with other stuff by an acquaintance who was going to immigrate to Hong Kong. Another camera in the pile was the Konica C35, which after bringing it to a local camera repair shop, was pronounced unrepairable. The guy at the local repair shop, thought the Canon AE-1 would have a bigger chance of being fixed and cleaned. After a few days, it was given back to me. It didn’t look perfect to begin with, but I took the guy’s word that he totally cleaned it and he had made it possible for the camera to work without the prescribed batteries as there was none available locally. When one of my friends saw the camera, he said, I was duped. The guy who claimed he had the camera cleaned have just pulled the wool over my eyes. Not to put all the blame on him. I should have known what a clean camera and lens would look like.
Admittedly, I was a bit hesitant. Although I have used film cameras in the past (my father gave me a camera when I was about eight, which later on was borrowed by a cousin who never gave it back – ah life), I remembered nothing about aperture or shutter speeds. Should that have dissuaded me then? No. My brain was constantly chanting that ever famous Nike tagline. You know what that is.
Moving on, I tried the camera. I bought a box of Fujifilm Superia 200 in Fujifilm Baguio along Session Road. It was the only one available at that time. I was pretty excited. I didn’t know how to operate the camera that much, but I know that the meter needle should be in the middle of the shutter speed scale. Good to go. Not really. I was a bit too confident. When I was shooting, I was messing everything up. The image looked focused, but I didn’t check the meter, and vice versa.
I wasn’t taking myself seriously. What was more important was trying to figure out how to use the camera, and most importantly having fun!
When I brought it back to Fujifilm Baguio for developing, I wasn’t expecting anything to come out of it.
The following images are some of the ones that came out okay. They’re no masterpieces, I know, but I was quite thrilled I have captured something with a film camera.
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The next thing I did was buy a box of Neopan Acros to try out. My experiences with this film can be read here, if you’re interested.
I love the whole process.
It slowed me down knowing I had limited shots in the roll. It made me think of light and trying to get the correct exposure. It was a mixture of eager anticipation and suspense. Waiting to see what I’ve shot was almost intolerable. Needless to say, this experience has opened up the whole world of film photography for me. I haven’t stopped since.
CAMERA: CANON AE-1 | DEVELOPING AND SCANNING: FUJIFILM BAGUIO
What was the first film camera and roll you used? Let me know in the comments below. Thank you for the visit!