On the subject of me

Is film dead? wellington photographer dies trying.

Oh it’s been a hot minute since I’ve been able to ramble freely. I’m currently sitting at my favourite little hideaway in Johnsonville – Common Ground Cafe, having escaped the school holiday madness for an hour or two I can finally write to you! My faves!

My headline is absolute click bait, although a poor attempt really as my headline analyser has it sitting at 43/100.


I finally bought myself a little film camera. It’s nothing fancy – a soviet era Zenit 3m with Helios 44. The helios was its own seller in a way as it boasts a gorgeous swirly bokeh, however it’s not very prominent in this kit lens that was one of two standards back in the 60s when this camera was being produced.

An image like this I shot using a Helios 85mm portrait lens now THAT is some swirl am I right?

Here though, you can see the swirl I’ve managed to produce using the Zenit and the 44, significantly less.

I had a couple rolls of film left over from Thailand and have been waiting to use them. The wonderful Jon Hane bought them for me for my birthday one year and lent me his camera to shoot the rolls! So I shot 2 rolls over there and am finally taking the last two out now.

This roll (above) is Fujicolorplus 200. The next roll I hope to shoot on is Illford B+W 400 and I’m very excited to get that one in!

Ok are you ready for my review? It’s awful, I promise. Awfully good! Ahahahahaha.

So this nifty little noodle is totally manual. No light meter like it’s future models, so you’re either super-duper knowledgable or you download an app like LUX, as I did initially (Buyer beware, LUX doesn’t work on the iphone SE – I have no idea why).

When you look through the viewfinder when there’s a good amount of light well Bob’s your Uncle, but if you’re shooting at dusk, even at F2 you can barely see a thing when composing so it’s a bit of a mare. TTL – through the lens – so yeah you’re looking through the lens!

Which reminds me, having never owned a film camera before, it took me a full hour to realise the camera is not in fact broken but rather you can only see through the viewfinder AFTER you’ve cocked the shutter. On that note, you can only set the shitter oops I mean shutter after you’ve cocked it too.

The shutter speed only has a few options with 500 being the fastest. Makes free lensing a little tricky but I still tried. Here are two shots – guess which one was shot at dusk lol! Yes, MUCH easier when there was low light when detaching the lens from the body. In all other cases however, it’s the opposite!

So I convinced a friend of mine to let me test out this camera on her and her wee boys, we scrambled together last minute at met down at Oriental Bay – Oh dear I just took a ten minute break to find the OTHER photos I took during that session on my digital camera in case the film ones didn’t work out and I can’t find them…

I tried to shoot how I would normally shoot, asking the family to just enjoy each other and I’ll work around them – I soon realised this was totally unachievable! Noob alert. Ok guys – hold still and pose!

Still struggled to nail focus – as the night wore on I got a little more confident.

That’s probably enough for now. It was very definitely a first attempt and I’m so excited to shoot again, maybe something a little more creative. Got sick last week and holed up at home but we’re back at it this week and ready to be noobs again!

Also I’m really hoping some potential clients are reading this blog and deciding they want to add on a roll of film to their shoot! Keep checking for the added option. Stoked! And as always – get in touch!

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