[On Film] Lanikai Pillbox | O'ahu, Hawai'i Film Photographer

I anxiously tracked the package like it was my job.  Over twenty days later, coincidentally after huffing and puffing that someone at customs must clearly be eyeballing my new gear, the doorbell rang.  It had arrived. Elated and baffled all at the same time, I carefully unpacked my precious and scooped up some film.  This thing doesn't work! (It needed a battery.  A seemingly elusive one, at that.)  How do I load the film? (google it)  Why can't I see through the viewfinder?!?! (20 minutes later and a still posing Carlo, I found the hidden prism switch).

Here is my first go 'round with the new Contax 645.  Certainly I feel like I don't know what I am doing, but I know photography, I know lighting, I know settings, so WHY OH WHY AM I SO PANICKED?  Right.  Because I can't delete.  It's a lesson in slowing down my shooting, thinking about what I am doing, and shooting from my heart.  Because for me, the color and style of film is where my heart is at.  I love digital and the convenience, for sure, and will always shoot it but every image that makes my heart go pitter patter just so happens to be film.  And shot on a Contax, none-the-less.  So ooey gooey creamy & pastely good.  So instead of pretending and dreaming from afar, I decided to commit and DO, and shoot it, and learn it inside and out, and when I do, incorporate it into my paid work.

I can do this.  I can do this.

Sadly, there aren't many "up-to-date" and super thorough teaching methods out there that I have found (although they may exist).  It's almost like everyone who shoots it kinda sorta doesn't reallllyyy want to tell you everything.  But then again, that is how I felt with photography when I first decided to turn my passion into a career, and truly it wasn't the case, so I am sure I am wrong. But I do feel a little bit back at square one, but I know that's all in my head.  And now, I can accept that to truly learn all I need to do is practice, practice, practice, because I've been there done that, know the truth in it.

I read Elizabeth Messina's book through and through, and although beautiful with great ideas, it wasn't the most technical resource.  Jonathan Canlas' Film Is Not Dead book has been the most beneficial in the basics of working, loading, film stocks, and metering, plus it's funny as hell (and I don't say that just because I like the guy and feel like I owe him a bunch for letting us 'model'.  'Tis true.)

So if you're like me and aiming to learn, I would suggest his book, which you can download here, AND A LIGHT METER.  My iphone app won't give me spot on exposures for long I am sure.

These images I was just winging from settings I had seen often from others and loved.  And, well, they don't always work out, the colors are a bit muckier than I would like, which I am trying to figure out if it's the exposures (probably) or the developing (also probably), orrrrrrrrrrrr...

Learned lesson number one: learn for yourself with a meter, not just by what other people do.


Featuring our friend Carlo who came for a visit and is now most likely moving over (YAY!!!!!!!), modeling up on the Pillbox hike in Lanikai and at Kailua Beach.  Carlo is always more than happy to model.  I may turn him into a photo assistant.  Shall see. ;)

The film is Kodak Portra 400 (I have a feeling for my style and the blues and greens, Fuji is going to be where it's at for me, but I know better than to not at least TRY others!) shot on my new Contax 645 with a 80mm lens and developed locally at Hawaii Pacific Photo (so I could get some fast results and make sure the camera was working properly!).