Hello everyone! This year I took a semester photography course as one of my more fun courses for senior year. I was excited because I found photography fun, and I had no idea what the mechanics were behind taking a picture, so I wanted to learn more about it. Of course, we were not using any easy, point-and-shoot digital cameras. We had to go with slightly more "old school" technology: film cameras.
My first challenge was simply figuring out how to use a film camera. There were a lot of parts and pieces that were very different from a digital camera, especially with an iPhone camera (what I commonly use).
An iPhone does all the heavy lifting for you when taking a picture. It can easily fix the contrast, the focus, etc... You don't get so much handed to you with a film camera, where you have to manually do all of those things while both taking a photo and developing it.
Our first practice with developing was through making photograms, where we placed objects on photo paper, exposed it to light, and then developed it by soaking the paper in various chemical baths. It was pretty straightforward (and a bit addicting).
After a long week of learning how our cameras worked, we could go out and take some pictures at last!
I used my dad's Olympus OM-4 film camera for most of the semester, but it was difficult to handle since every single part of it had to be manually controlled (unlike the more automatic film cameras that were offered to us). But I was stubborn and stuck with it as an attempt to understand the strategy behind taking photos. That is, until I realized the school cameras were far easier and less trouble.
Our first assignment was to take photos under the subject of texture.
Double negatives were the most difficult part of the whole semester. Successfully layering two film slides so that both came together to make something more was no easy task. But it challenged everyone to think outside the box and turned out to be very fun and engaging.