The Cure for Nostalgia

January 27, 2023 Canon A-1, Cork, Film

I love shooting film (especially 120). I love that it forces me to be more decisive about each frame, because there are a very limited number available at any one time. It’s not like I carry around pockets full of film with me, not at recent prices anyway. The process forces a much slower and more focused (yes I know, I’m sorry) type of photography, which at the time is a wonderful thing but can be a world of pain when you get the negatives back and see that nothing you shot that day actually worked out.

So when I recently traded in my Fuji X-T3 and X100 and was left with no possibility of instant gratification, I plucked one of the Canon A1s off the shelf and loaded up a long expired roll of Fujicolor 200 before heading down to the marina market for a coffee and a mooch around the grimy wonderfulness of it all.

At the time I wasn’t entirely sure if the meter in the camera was still working, shutter speeds seemed a little off for some reason. So it was a welcome surprise when I got the roll back and discovered that the meter was fine, but apparently my skill for manual focusing was a little rusty. I guess I’ve gotten to used to the joy of having focus peaking in the digital viewfinder of the Fuji. I’m going to call it ‘soft focus’ and say it was intentional.

Given that I was shooting colour film, I surpassed myself by getting it from day of shoot to developed negatives within a month. As I rounded up rolls of film to bring in for processing, it turned out that I’d surpassed myself even further than I thought when I found 4 other rolls that needed attention. One of which was from as far back as 2012(ish).

The burning nostalgia I had been feeling for a bit of film love was very swiftly converted into heartburn when I realised I now had 4x 36 exposure rolls of film to scan on a scanner that I hadn’t used for years. After I realised the inside of the scanner glass needed a serious cleaning, I resolved to call it a feature instead of a bug, ignored it and carried on. I then had to find the cables for it that I hadn’t seen since moving house, install software on the PC because apparently it’s so old, it doesn’t like the mac. Then each frame took about 3 minutes to scan. After all that I reckon It’ll probably be a couple more years until I shoot any more film. Or just enough time to forget all the time consuming stuff that goes on afterward and acquire another acute case of nostalgialitis.

I’m trying something new with how I’m displaying photos in posts. Instead of an unwieldy sequence of images one after the other, this time I’m putting them in a clickable gallery. Quite a bit neater I think.

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