The First Foray into Film

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.

I exaggerate.

copyright-she-escobar-canon-ae1-film-camera-baguio-philippines
The camera that started everything.

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.

CLICK ON THUMBNAIL TO VIEW LARGER IMAGE

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!

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All images Copyright © 2017 by She Escobar, all rights reserved. Images may not be copied, downloaded, printed or otherwise disseminated without express written permission of She Escobar.
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  1. My my aren’t there some nice images right there! Loved the chairs image. Looks really sharp!
    My first dabble into film photography was very much introduced by my army friend who shared with me about lomography. Funnily, I bought the Holga N and he didn’t start at all! I stopped a while after getting my first digital camera the Canon 350D. But now I have my dream medium format the hasselblad 500cm and the olympus which you have poisoned me hee… will try to get some shots over the weeks and update u soon!

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    • That was the first time I used the camera. Beginner’s luck :) That photo you mentioned of the chairs was taken in a café called Café in the Sky. The elevation there is around 2000 metres. That photo and several other photos above were taken just after sunrise, so the light was good.

      Thank you for sharing your experience with film. It’s interesting to know how people start with photography. I’ve heard countless anecdotes, but it’s always so good to find out how people started.

      Have fun with the Hasselblad and the Olympus. The Olympus is very good, at least in my eyes. Would be interesting to know if you like it or not :)

      P.S. I think I should convince Olympus to make me one of their sales ladies hahaha. Just kidding.

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  2. Nice pictures. I have never really stopped – even if I also use a lot of digital. As a youngster I did much of my photography – inclusive of weddings of my cousins – with my trusty Zenit E. It is a tank of a camera. Once I earnt my own money, I bought a Nikon F3 and it stood me in good stead until my daughter convinced me that she should have it. Since then, I have used a Nikon FM2n and various rangefinders. If you are interested, I could tell you many stories. I am particularly fond of my Zeiss Ikon ZM.

    I am currently looking for a serviced Nikon F2 in Europe …

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  3. I grew up using film and film cameras. Using those point and shoot film cameras when I was young. I brought my first real SLR camera when I was in high school. A Nikon FM10, using Fuji film 200. My first few rolls were not great at all. Out of focus or over/under expose. Worst not loading the film correctly into the camera. Really didn’t have any knowledge of shutter speed or f-stop. Still use that camera today along with canon ae-1.

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    • Wonderful story. Thank you for sharing. I remember our family owning those point and shoot film cameras too and my father gave me a camera on one of my birthdays. Never used them much. Then my cousin lost it. It’s amazing how these cameras last and how we get attached to them. Good stuff 😊

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  4. A looong time ago my Dad bought me (new or used – no idea!) a Praktica and we always did our own developing etc. and in those days he said if you can ever afford it get a Rollei or a Hasselbkad! I took passport photos of school friends to save to buy my first serious camera an eventually pensioned off the praktika to buy a new Pentax SP 1000. I stayed with Pentax thru my first digital K10 and eventually needed to go smaller…….Hello to my Leica M9 some 4 years ago….but still hooked on heavy weights did eventually get my Hasselblad 13 or so years past ……… :-) Don

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