Friday, October 8, 2010

Maybe it is not about the photos...

I've had a great time shooting film with the Olympus OM1, a complete manual SLR camera. This is my 1st 35mm roll, a Fujifilm Superia 200. Technical discussions on "Digital vs. Film" are available all over online and I'm not so interested in talking about that. Each simply has some pros and cons. Rather I want to share with you my experience from using it in the past two weeks.

Using a complete manual camera means you have to manually set the aperture and shutter speed for a "correct" exposure, then get the subject in focus by rotating the focusing ring. In short, it means taking things slow. Really slow. And more anticipation. No rushing or pressure for taking 2-3 frames of the same thing, in hope that at least one will be good. With the limit of 36 shots and the cost of film processing, you only press a shutter button when it feels right (still, not guarantee a good outcome though).

Shooting film means you only know the actual pictures after finishing the whole roll of 36 shots, then wait couple of days for the film to be developed. You become curious (or extremely curious) about the outcome and yet need to be patient at the same time. It is different from shooting digital when you can see the image right on the LCD.

Shooting film also means that in the end of the day, you "have to" put the camera down and go to sleep, as there is not much you can do to an unfinished film. No downloading from the CF card. No post-processing (and uploading to Flickr or Facebook right after that).

Sure, you can put your digital camera to Manual mode, turn off the LCD and try not to be addicted to the "download, post-process, and upload" things. But here, you HAVE TO do that ;)

Anyway, here are some shots from my 1st 35mm roll (Straight Out of the Camera). Guess we can still produce similar outputs with a full-frame digital (5D Mark II) and some film-like post-processing. However, maybe it is not about the photos, but what you experience....

A. We went to Changi airport to pick up my friend's mother who transited here for one night. In the end, we were late for the last train home. Luckily there are NightRider buses for us to get home at 2am in the morning.

@Changi Airport

Waiting @ Changi Airport

@Changi Airport

B. Our "family picnic" at Botanic Garden...





C. Some shots in NTU - my effort to finish the roll