Shooting Film

Shooting Film

I have been enjoying the new aspect of my photography: shooting film.    One reason I love photography is there is so much to learn and it is truly a life long hobby.   You can learn the bascis of exposure: ISO, Aperture, and Shutter Speed pretty quickly with a little focus and practice.  You can spend years learning composition, digital working flow, printing, color management, and learning how to ‘see’ through your camera’s lens.

Shooting film is the current stream I am going down.  I am learning different ways I can get better results scanning my negatives.  I don’t think I will learn to develop myself as I don’t have the space at home or the desire to print a lot of images.  I am happy scanning them and sharing them with all of you here online.  I just got my custom film holders from Better Scanning which is suppose to hold the negative much flatter and give you a better scan.  I am learning which tools to use to keep dust and spots off of the negatives as I prep them to scan.  I am learning to read light much better now.

One thing I really enjoy is getting a roll of film back and looking forward to what I ‘find’.   I am shooting a roll of film over a couple of weeks so I don’t always remember what I shot so love the ‘surprises’.

Jiyugaoka Station

I am loving the look and colors I am getting with film.

Dave's Audi A5

In the rain

Me on location in Cambodia last week…

Dave on location in Cambodia


Thoughts on shooting film?

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I am not as disciplined with my workflow with Film as I am with Digital.  I always swap memory cards after I shoot around 100 images or so.  I backup my MacBook after putting new images on it before deleting them from my memory card.  I have NOW learned that it is best to immediately rewind my film when I complete shooting the roll.

Dave melting...

The other thing I learned, which I was wondering, was “what happened if I opened the camera before rewinding my film?”.  It turns out that not all images are noisy.   The images on the outside will be more over exposed while the images on the inside will become more noisy the longer it is exposed to light.   A lot of the images are still OK.  The image below, shot by Mrs Shoot Tokyo, it still a ‘keeper’.   You can see the white grain from being exposed but it is still a great photo to me especially as it was shot by my wife.

Dave on the street

Thanks for stopping by today…


  • Nathan

    Nice series Dave.
    I’ll get my roll back tom, can’t wait :)
    I understand what you mean by being more sensitive to light.

  • Dave

    Nathan – What did you end up buying?

  • Nathan Liusvia

    A slightly moded M4 😉
    I’ll send you the pic

  • Carlos Ferreira

    Excellent, I really love that old-film look.

    It’s very good to know that the film survives accidental opening of the camera back – I opened mine the other day, and hadn’t rewind it all the way through. I suppose how it also depends on the ASA rating of the film – higher rating, bigger problem.

  • Clinton

    Nice post Dave. How much of a difference do the Better Scanning film holders make? And what scanner do you use? Was thinking of getting a set of the film holders.

  • Dave

    Not sure yet Clinton. I haven’t scanned enough images yet. I’ll doing a post in a few weeks when I have enough material.

  • Gourmetguy

    I started with film, Ricoh compact, Olympus Trip and have had a Nikon f55 for about 10 years or more.

    I hadnt used it in about 4 years, since acquiring a DSLR.
    I have even just splashed out on an even better DSLR.

    Then one day it was my friends stag do in Bratislava.
    Not willing to take my expensive DSLR away with me, I decided to take my old Nikon + a 28mm 2.8 AI-S manual lens I got for £15

    I forgot what I was missing! The contrast, dynamic range, colours and beautiful film look blew my DSLR away!
    I am thinking about buying a decent negative scanner and going back to film!

  • Dave

    Good for you… I have been enjoying shooting film.

  • Kathy Cadigan

    Yay Dave!! I love your film shots.
    Morgan and I took a BW darkroom class a few weeks ago and I agree with you, better to send out for processing (esp. color) and scan negs — although developing our BW prints was a lot of fun. Morgan used a 2.5 magenta enlarger head filter and was able to get most beautiful almost sepia-like contrast tones.
    P.S. Which tools are you using for dust control? I’m having a hard time with that!

  • Kai

    Amazing stuff,Dave…I started with film in 1998 and still shooting it in 2012 ( there are a missing link in my photography world between 2001 and 2007)but shooting digital for work….

  • Dave

    Hi Kai – Shooting film is very interesting. I love being surprised when I finally develop a roll. Currently it takes me more than a week to shoot one so lots of surprises waiting for me.

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