Playing with Film Photography
The last time I went to Maryland, I found a 1980’s SLR KS Super camera, manufactured by Sears at my favorite thrift store. It was in perfect condition, complete with instruction manual, attachable flash and other miscellaneous items, like lens cleaning wipes. Best of all, it was only $25 for everything.
I knew I couldn’t pass it up, and I wanted to experiment with non-digital cameras, as I had never worked with film before. Finally mustering up the courage to start taking pictures with it, I purchased a cheap roll of CVS film and a new lithium battery. It took me a while to figure out how it operated and, once I realized I put the film in incorrectly, it began to work.
The process of taking the pictures, hearing the shutter go up and down, and cranking the Film Advance Lever, is fun by itself. There is also so many things to monitor, like the film and shutter speed, that makes it a much more patient task than digital film. Each picture must be carefully thought out, and I enjoyed not knowing what each shot looked like.
After using up all the film, I took it to my neighborhood photo store for processing. Most of the results were blurry (“watch your shutter speed,” said the owner of the photo shop), but I loved how soft everything look. I did manage to get some pretty good shots, like this one of my mother:
and this one of a subway docking center:
or this picture of two of the members in my church, Jorge and Nora:
I think I’ll purchase my next roll of film tomorrow and give it another go. The quality of the pictures are so different from digital that I can understand why many photographers opt for film as their preferred medium. I’m excited with the possibility of other pictures I’ll take, and hope to use this camera for my next Chauncey P. Graham photo shoot!