Learning Film Photography: very first roll

Why film, you ask? The color and the ability to push my light like crazy! I love bright and colorful images that look organic. Natural. Simple. And then mixing warm tones with cool tones? What?! Makes my heart swell. For my birthday this year Isaac gifted me with a film camera (Canon EOS 1v). He is the best, I know. I stared at that camera while waiting for film and batteries to come and wondered how in the world I would find the right settings to get that magical image I could only see in my head. I read through some great film books (Elizabeth Messina, Jose Villa) and while absolutely stunning with incredible ideas, they weren't as technical as I needed to start this new endeavor. Jonathan Canlas' book, which can be downloaded HERE, was an extremely helpful resource while I waited on my first roll of film. He walks you through different types of films, cameras and approaches leaving you the opportunity to make educated and strategic decisions. I loved it.

I am sharing every image off my first ever film roll so I can hopefully encourage those of you who are hoping to try it out. I will share what I learned and what I will do differently in the future. These images have not been edited in any way (except the black and white images), which is precisely why film has captured my heart.

I did not use a light meter for these readings, but hopefully my sektonic will arrive today! I will be sure to let you know what I think about using a light meter.

Canon EOS 1V Canon 85 1.2 Canon 100 2.8 Fuji 400H rated at 200

Left: f/2.0  1/125  200 ISO Right: f/1.2  1/80 200 ISO

Learning Film Photography - Canon 1v Fuji 400H by Jordan Brittley_001
Learning Film Photography - Canon 1v Fuji 400H by Jordan Brittley_001

Left: f/250  1.2  200 ISO In the future I will overexpose a little bit more like in the above image (right side).

Right: f/1.2  1/15  200 ISO

Learning Film Photography - Canon 1v Fuji 400H by Jordan Brittley_002
Learning Film Photography - Canon 1v Fuji 400H by Jordan Brittley_002

Left: f/2.8  1/160  200 ISO Right: f/2.8  1/125  200 ISO

Learning Film Photography - Canon 1v Fuji 400H by Jordan Brittley_003
Learning Film Photography - Canon 1v Fuji 400H by Jordan Brittley_003

Left: f/2.8  1/80  200 ISO Right: f/2.8  1/125  200 ISO

Learning Film Photography - Canon 1v Fuji 400H by Jordan Brittley_004
Learning Film Photography - Canon 1v Fuji 400H by Jordan Brittley_004

Below: f/2.0  1/320  200 ISO I will overexpose by another stop in the future.

Learning Film Photography - Canon 1v Fuji 400H by Jordan Brittley_005
Learning Film Photography - Canon 1v Fuji 400H by Jordan Brittley_005

Below: f/2.8  1/200  200 ISO

Learning Film Photography - Canon 1v Fuji 400H by Jordan Brittley_006
Learning Film Photography - Canon 1v Fuji 400H by Jordan Brittley_006

Left: f/1.6  1/125  200 ISO Right: f/1.6  1/400  200 ISO

Learning Film Photography - Canon 1v Fuji 400H by Jordan Brittley_007
Learning Film Photography - Canon 1v Fuji 400H by Jordan Brittley_007

Left: f/2.8  1/250  200 ISO Right: f/2.0  1/320  200 ISO

Learning Film Photography - Canon 1v Fuji 400H by Jordan Brittley_008
Learning Film Photography - Canon 1v Fuji 400H by Jordan Brittley_008

Below: f/2.0  1/500  200 ISO

Learning Film Photography - Canon 1v Fuji 400H by Jordan Brittley_009
Learning Film Photography - Canon 1v Fuji 400H by Jordan Brittley_009

Left: f/1.2  1/400  200 ISO Right: f/1.2  1/400  200 ISO

Learning Film Photography - Canon 1v Fuji 400H by Jordan Brittley_010
Learning Film Photography - Canon 1v Fuji 400H by Jordan Brittley_010

Left: f/2.0  1/500  200 ISO I would over expose by 1-2 stops next time.

Right: f/1.2  1/400  200 ISO

Learning Film Photography - Canon 1v Fuji 400H by Jordan Brittley_011
Learning Film Photography - Canon 1v Fuji 400H by Jordan Brittley_011

Below: f/1.2  1/2000  200 ISO

Learning Film Photography - Canon 1v Fuji 400H by Jordan Brittley_012
Learning Film Photography - Canon 1v Fuji 400H by Jordan Brittley_012

Below: f/2.8  1/200  200 ISO

Learning Film Photography - Canon 1v Fuji 400H by Jordan Brittley_013
Learning Film Photography - Canon 1v Fuji 400H by Jordan Brittley_013

Left: f/1.2  1/500  200 ISO Right: f/2.0  1/125  200 ISO After looking at my notes, I think I metered for the tea pot instead of the shadows. If I could redo the image, I would change my settings to f/2.0  1/15  200 ISO.

Learning Film Photography - Canon 1v Fuji 400H by Jordan Brittley_014
Learning Film Photography - Canon 1v Fuji 400H by Jordan Brittley_014

Left: f/2.0  1/640  200 ISO This image was taken on a covered deck with sunlight hitting the ground in the background. I would change my settings to f/2.0  1/125  200 ISO.

Right: f/1/6  1/160  200 ISO

Learning Film Photography - Canon 1v Fuji 400H by Jordan Brittley_015
Learning Film Photography - Canon 1v Fuji 400H by Jordan Brittley_015

Below: f/1.2  1/1600  200 ISO

Learning Film Photography - Canon 1v Fuji 400H by Jordan Brittley_016
Learning Film Photography - Canon 1v Fuji 400H by Jordan Brittley_016

Below: f/2.8  1/60  200 ISO

Learning Film Photography - Canon 1v Fuji 400H by Jordan Brittley_017
Learning Film Photography - Canon 1v Fuji 400H by Jordan Brittley_017

Left: f/1.2  1/60  200 ISO Right: f/1.2  1/80  200 ISO

Learning Film Photography - Canon 1v Fuji 400H by Jordan Brittley_018
Learning Film Photography - Canon 1v Fuji 400H by Jordan Brittley_018

Left: f/1.2  1/50  200 ISO Right: f/1.2  1/15  200 ISO

Learning Film Photography - Canon 1v Fuji 400H by Jordan Brittley_019
Learning Film Photography - Canon 1v Fuji 400H by Jordan Brittley_019

Left: f/1.2  1/25  200 ISO Right: f/5.0  1/320  200 ISO

Learning Film Photography - Canon 1v Fuji 400H by Jordan Brittley_020
Learning Film Photography - Canon 1v Fuji 400H by Jordan Brittley_020

Left: f/1.2  1/60  200 ISO Right: f/1.2  1/40  200 ISO

Learning Film Photography - Canon 1v Fuji 400H by Jordan Brittley_021
Learning Film Photography - Canon 1v Fuji 400H by Jordan Brittley_021

Below: f/2.0  125  200 ISO These settings are the same as the very first image, but I took two exposures because I was afraid I had exposed a frame when trying to load the film.

Learning Film Photography - Canon 1v Fuji 400H by Jordan Brittley_022
Learning Film Photography - Canon 1v Fuji 400H by Jordan Brittley_022

In conclusion, here are a few things to keep in mind when beginning film (I used fuji 400H and the Canon 1V, so results may vary with different varieties of film/cameras):

  • Keep a detailed notebook of the lighting situation, your camera settings, film type, etc,.
  • Overexpose - I overexposed by 2-4 stops and loved what happened with the film
  • Photograph different lighting situations

These images were developed and scanned at my local walgreens to ensure the camera was working properly. I can't wait to send my next images to Richard Photo Lab!

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