Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Playing with Medium Format Film

Alice Grass

I am always happy to admit that I discovered photography when digital had already been hailed king. Analogue cameras were increasingly rare (although not yet as cool as they are now) and digital had already replaced them as the tool of the present and the future. My passion for image-making however meant I dabbled my fingers here and there in film and with a quick refresher session I can find my way round a darkroom. For quite some time I have fancied the idea of having a play with a medium format camera and when the right one came along I could not resist.

I am now a proud owner of a Bronica SQ-A which I found on eBay and which has provided me with ample entertainment. I found its waist-level viewfinder a touch confusing to start with, but every day I am getting better. I have not used it for any work yet - just everyday, personal snaps - almost like a less portable and much slower phone really. The slowness as part of the process is great - instead of snapping hundreds of pictures I take my time with each one (“too much time” my girlfriend - deficient in patience - would say). Then there is the slowness of getting results - sending the film off and then scanning it at home, getting it wrong and scanning it again. I know it has been said a million times before - but waiting for results certainly adds a sprinkle of excitement otherwise rarely felt in photography.

I have lots to learn still having only developed two rolls of film, but here are some of my favourite snaps so far.

Daddy 1
Trees version 2
Olga and Cecil (scratchy)
Olga B&W 1

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