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film: a journey begins

filmTerri BleekerComment

For the last several years I have found myself drawn to a certain color and look in photography. I finally discovered that the look and color I was striving to create came from film. To be even more specific, the look I love comes from medium forma cameras and Fuji 400H film. It may seem like there shouldn't be a difference between film and digital, but as far I can see, there is a difference. Maybe it's the picky photographer in me coming out.

Terri Bleeker (c) 2012

Terri Bleeker (c) 2012

I ordered some film and pulled out the only working film cameras I had and set out last fall to photograph a wedding at a local park. The results I got from the 35mm camera were fine, but the medium format camera was a beas. This thing literally has recoil when you released the shutter. I knew it was finally time to let the camera that had been sitting in my basement go. I wanted to shoot film bad enough that I could finally swallow the guilt of trading in a camera, a really nice camera, that had been given to me.

I had no idea what features I really wanted. I knew that my big wish was to get a Contax 645 with an 80mm lens, but my wallet disagreed. After talking to the really knowledgeable and really nice owner at World of Used Photography I left with a Bronica 645. I only shot 2 rolls of film on the camera before I became hooked. I read Jonathan Canlas's Film is Not Dead while on vacation last summer and now felt like I understood medium format cameras and could make a better trade. I did tons of research and decided I could trade in my Bronica and afford a Mamiya 645 Pro TL. So in the fall I traded in my Bronica for the Mamiya I wanted and tracked down a Polaroid back at Columbus Camera Group.

I had loads of fun shooting Polaroids of my family on Thanksgiving day. I was completely hooked and couldn't stop smiling. So this has started my journey to get reacquainted with film. I'm sure I'll have some rough frames along the way, but it's fun and challenging and, I think, completely worth making some mistakes along the way.