How I got into film photography

How did you get into film photography?

I grew up with film photography and would see my parents use film. They would drop off their film at the local grocery store where it would take couple of days to get the actual prints. There was no 1 hours service and the cost was cheap back in the day. As a kid, I also own a small camera that used 110 film. Remember those? The two factors that really spark my interest in film photography was my high school art teacher and seeing the photographs people would submit to the Astronomy magazine.

I remember one day my art teacher decided to show us the darkroom and took the entire class outside to take a few pictures with her camera. Don’t remember what camera she had, but I remember the lecture she was giving us about the darkroom. She gave us the opportunity to develop the photographs that we took with her camera. I was amazed at the magic that happened in the darkroom when you would expose the photo paper to get a print and then put the photo paper into a pan of chemicals. Watching the image develop on the photo paper was so cool. The paper was nothing but a piece of white paper and within a few second a photo would slowing begin to emerge on the paper. It was like magic. The image below was the first photo that I developed in the darkroom with a little help from my art teacher.

This was a class photo of everyone in my Art class. That me, second to the right, standing near the table.

Around the same time I was learning about the darkroom from my art teacher, I had a interest in Astrophotography and astronomy. I had just brought a telescope just a year ago and had done some research on what you needed to take pictures through a telescope. This lead me to buying my first camera, a SLR Nikon FM10 for around $400.00. This is the same camera that I use today and only had to send it to the repair shop once. Just one time and I’ve had it for 17 years, not bad. It took me awhile to learn how use my new camera, from loading the film, to focusing, and setting the shutter speed and aperture. I remember my first few rolls of film came out blur for several reasons. My older sister one day told me that I should return it since my pictures weren’t coming out, but I stuck with it. Learning by trailing and error and taking a photography class awhile I was in college.

Are you interest in Film Photography? Here my advice to you.
1. Be prepare that your IQ will drop a few points.:)
2. Your first few rolls of film will either come out looking terrible or not come out at all. That okay, just keep at it and learn from your mistakes. O you might want to keep a note pad and pen with you, so you can write right down what settings you use awhile taking photographs.
3. If a local community college offers a photography course that still use 35mm manual camera, take it.
4. As for what camera you should get? Well, you can’t go wrong with any 35mm manual cameras. My Nikon FM10 is a great camera and it simple to use. There a lot of other camera out there that are also great. I hear the Pentax K1000 is a great camera for beginners. If you are not sure, there are a lot of websites, facebook groups where you can ask questions and am sure you will get a response.


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