I bought film today.I’ll say it again. I bought film today. I bought a roll of Tri-X 400 and a roll of E100G chromes.I bought film today.
It has been at least 7 years since I have bought film, and at that, it was a bulk roll of Tri-X 400. It was on a photo excursion in the Holy Cross Wilderness with a good friend that I last shot film. It was on this trip that I realized the convenience and versatility of digital photography. And the importance of having plenty of battery power. I haven’t shot a frame of film since.
About a year and a half ago, my uncle kindly handed down to me my grandfather’s Leica M3. It’s a beautiful dinosaur. A relic from an era rapidly vanishing…but seeing a resurgence I hear. And hope. The M3 has sat on my desk. On top of my bookshelf. It has rested in my hands, the subject of my wondrous gaze. This is a camera. This is the essence of photography. There isn’t a single solitary “auto” anything on it. Who remembers the phrase “motor drive,” or “film advance”? The M3 has a double stroke manual advance. The Leitz 13.5cm lens has…drum roll…an aperture ring. There aren’t halves or thirds of stops. There are stops. 4.5. 5.6. 8. 11. 16. 22. 32. It doesn’t have a meter. It has no brains. The photographer is the meter. The photographer is the brains of the operation. This is just a beautiful tool that makes no apologies and no room for error. It beckons and dares you to take a frame.
Do it. If you can.
Well, I bought film today. Under no pretense that I think I’m worthy of using this finely crafted contraption of metal and glass. Just with the excitement of shooting film…chromes, no less. And re-inserting myself into the process. This will be a project I embark upon methodically and enthusiastically.
I just wish it had an LCD so I can chimp my images.
Look for posts of results from my time with my grandfather’s M3 in a few weeks. Hey! It’s FILM!