Digital strokes your ego. Film reminds you that you're human. - Matthew Mills, 2014
I love classic old machinery. The skill and craftsmanship with which it was assembled is becoming a lost art. And some of the most beautiful old machinery around today is cameras. For a few bucks and some digging, you can get an old Kodak to sit on your desk to admire. Spend a bit more, and you get a working model.
I have two Canon AE-1 cameras from the 1980s (I never checked the serial numbers). One was an antique store find, with a 50 mm f1.8 lens and a good battery (an $8 item). I paid $18 for it. It now resides in my car trunk all of the time, and I used it for an impromptu portrait shoot with some Ilford Delta 400 film recently. See Lacey on the Film page.
The grain was a bit off-putting at first. I thought perhaps I had overdeveloped the roll (more on THAT later). But as I looked at the shots more and more, the grain was part of the joy of those images. Sure, I can fake it in Silver Efex, but this isn't fake; it's the real deal.
On developing. I got tired of waiting for negatives to come back from California to see my work. TheDarkroom.com does great work; I was just impatient. So over the last few months I have collected everything I needed to get started developing my own B&W film. It's easy, but dammed if it doesn't require patience too! Thus far though, only two images on one roll were ruined.
You will notice a couple of new images from the latest old camera to enter the stable. I recently picked up a lovely Rolleicord Va (85 mm, f3.5) with a bright yellow body. It makes people smile. Thus far, I have done nothing but some portraits, and the 6x6 cm format is proving to be a lot of fun. Getting only 12 shots per roll means I can change out film more frequently and not feel bad about wasting film.
Finally, if you are kind enough to visit this site more than once, pay close attention to the People page. This is to be a year of portraits, many using film. Your comments, good and bad, are welcome.