Photography is one of those things where everyone can kind of relate to nowadays with the advanced optics and processing power of smartphones. With a mobile app and a quick touch, any photo can be shopped into eye candy—vintage style or poppy glamour or googly grins or what have you.
It’s cool but also a bit sad. Having this power at our hands spoils our tastes, and anything that is less than punchy can be easily glossed over and ignored. It’s so much so that I even forgot I had an SLR film camera. It’s been sitting in my “photography” storage for years along with my many other cameras. The last time I really used it was for this trip to Puerto Rico a few years ago.
Part of the reason I’ve neglected it though is that film taking and developing is such a tedious (and costly) process. It really tests your patience and knowledge and makes you deliberate on each photo you take. You can’t see the result of your work in the same breath you took the snap, sometimes not even until weeks or months later…imagine that.
But I think the older I get, the more I appreciate the process of making rather than rushing to get results. As slightly evidenced by the photos below, that time I rushed to get my end product. After the trip, I hurried to get the negatives developed and then I quickly scanned them into digital with a less-than-amazing film scanner. A subpar process that still got me some decent results, but I think it could’ve been a lot better.
Below were taken with a vintage Nikon FE on a prime 50mm (I think), using Portra 400 and Ektar 100 films. I was still learning how to handle the manual focus and exposure and all that. It seems that I favored the Portra more, as most of the ones I processed were from it. I suppose it has a little more warmth or glow than the Ektar, plus ISO 400 is a bit more versatile than 100.
The takeaway here is that none of these photos were processed with any filters. Only the typical minimal tweaks for levels and color balance were done.