Photographic discipline

Posted on: January 28, 2010

Doing film photography has me more disciplined than I ever imagined; as an unfamiliar domain revisited, I tend to the side of caution, especially since every frame now has a cost.

Composition, lighting and subject detail now etch themselves into my mind, turning their tones from the visible colour spectrum we see, into the rich tonal colours of black, grey and white. What is interesting in colour, may be dull in black and white. It is a new world.

I now keep a notebook with notes. My first contact sheet is printed, and we are printing our first test and actual prints in the next two weeks of class, and I have several photographs in mind to print. I am lucky and fortunate, that things have turned out well!

Virgil has performed fantastically – I am extremely satisfied and contented with the turnout of the photographs (from what I can see from the contact sheet). The exposure for almost all photographs is good, few photos are over or under exposed, considering that it’s the first time I am using this camera, and this is his first roll of film.

It is also the first time I have shot film in manual mode, and it is the first time I am using this film, so considering all the factors, this has turned out extremely well!

I am bringing an extra four rolls of film* with me to Boston – well, we never know what opportunities will turn up. Of course, Dante will be by my side if there is anything I cannot or am not confident to do with Virgil. There is one thing I have not done with Virgil, and that is to take a self timer shot. I’ll try to do some this time round. :D

The internet is full of wonder – even without a paper manual from the guy who sold me Virgil, I have found the original one online, and can now refer to it for any questions. How convenient!


*On a side note, today was a wonderful day! Time passed so quickly that I realised quite late that today was the only day I would get to buy film, and the only interval was from 11am to 1pm between classes. So off I went to Downtown Camera at Queen Street, walking for about 25 minutes before I reached, and VIOLA.

Ilford HP5+ was sold out! Oh, what was I to do? I queried why, and the knowledgeable guy (who comes from Hong Kong) told me that Ilford was shutting down that particular name, and it was out of production. The ‘new’ product, now called Kentmere 400. Can’t find it on the film development charts for time of development? Open the box, and it will say that for ID-11 (my chemical equivalent), with a 1:1 ratio with water, it would take 16 and a half minutes.

Pretty neat eh? So anyway they were selling each roll for cheaper, at 3.80CAD after tax and discount. I can’t wait to try this out! Have to be even more cautious now, because it’s like starting out all over again with a different type of film, contrast and exposure.

Was really happy getting a discount for the rolls! :D


I can’t believe I’m actually getting to see the Bornean-Harvard gang this soon after we just met in June last year! Damn fortunate, ay? I hear Boston and Cambridge is just beautiful, and there’s so many places I want to go!

I’ll be leaving soon after class ends tomorrow, so keep well and tight, and I’ll write again soon!


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