The cost per click these days is next to nothing. People don't think twice about pulling out their smartphone of digital camera and taking a photo of almost anything. I myself walk the streets of London every day taking at least 20-30 shots of interesting locations or people just for the sake of experimentation. While we can iterate much faster these days it wasn't always that way. Photography used to be a carefully executed medium. Primarily because film photography costs money every time you push that button and spending money makes you think twice about doing things.
So I thought to myself if I were to get a film camera and take shots for a personal project how would that affect my photography? It wasn't long before I took the leap.
I picked up a used Leica M6 for a bargain price with a used Voigtländer 35mm f1.4 lens in order to start this experiment. I did a fair amount of research into this camera online and it seems to be the cream of the value/performance crop. If the whole thing doesn't work out at least it has a great resale value. Leicas have been a sought after camera for a number of years, being the "only" choice of many of the pioneers in the industry. Robert Capa documented Spanish Civil War with one and Henri Cartier-Bresson shot the streets of Paris during the 50's with a Leica M3. While shooting film isn't going to make me an instant success it will (for better or worse) change the way I go about my photography.
My goal is to see how shooting film in will change my thinking and slow me down. It seems like I would rush to take shots get home review and edit them to get the best ready for publishing. Over time this rush has begun to take its toll on the amount of thought that I put into the shots I was taking. It seems as though the number of shots would just help me get lucky over time. I had shot film when I was a little guy but since really getting into photography it has all been digital.
While there are a lot of Leica M6 videos on the internet talking about its features and how they operate or loading film etc. there are very few videos or sites that publish the results. My intent is to publish my results as they come and document my journey into 35mm photography. This might help a few people who have thought about dipping their toes into the medium. At the end of the day why not?
Here were the first two shots from my first roll of film. The first was half exposed from the film loading process. The second I was experimenting with the depth of field on the Voigtländer lens. Neither deserve to be hung on the wall but my nostalgia is back! In the next day or so I will follow up with a video of my first roll of film where I took out my camera and filmed the whole experience from the hotshoe with my iPhone. So stay tuned!
If you are interested in learning more about film or film photography leave a comment below or send me a message on twitter @benkepka. Also if you have any questions about any of your own workflows I am always happy to help.