Roll 10: Canon A-1 – Ilford HP5 Plus 400 B&W (Chicago & San Felipe, TX)

The final roll of the first 10 on my road embracing 35mm analog photography was taken on Ilford HP5 400 Black and White film. It was shot with my Canon A-1 with a 50mm prime lens. If this is your first time visiting, let me give you a little background. I used to shoot film before digital came into the world. As the digital camera became more and more the norm, I embraced digital photography. It was cheaper after the initial camera purchase. You could take as many pictures as you wanted because it didn’t matter. Take 1 or 1000. Delete what didn’t turn out. Everyone became a photographer with iPhones and digital cameras.

I began to dislike photography because it seemed to be just one photo after another of nothing special. I told my wife I wanted to get back into film photography so we purchased a Canon A-1 from my local camera store and 4 rolls of film. Those are posted on this site as Rolls 1-4. I didn’t give up. I took another 6 rolls and my Canon on a road trip up to Michigan. That is rolls 5-10, with this being the final roll.

First picture shoot off…

Film is inconvenient in a world that is so instant. We go somewhere, we take photos and we want to post them up. It doesn’t work that way for a couple different reasons. First, you need money. If like me, you have to save up money in order to get the rolls developed. Gone are the times that you could take one roll to the one-hour photo lab and have your photos ready pretty quickly. There is only one photo lab close to me that still develops film. He does not do one roll at a time. He will hold your roll until he has about 4 rolls or so because of the developer and chemicals. He doesn’t want to waste them on one roll.

Then if you are not out taking photos daily, in order for me to get 4 rolls together that takes time too. That also slows down the website and updates. A vicious cycle that makes digital photography much more appealing. So after these 10 rolls, I went back to digital photography.

These 10 rolls were taken in 2015, it is now 2018 and I am bored with photography again. This boredom started just before going on our last vacation. I loved my Olympus mirrorless DSLR and was getting ready for packing when the camera’s motherboard died. My repair shop could not replace or fix and told me I had to send back to Olympus. It’s not under warranty, so I really didn’t want to bother. My friends convinced me to take my Canon A-1 and film to Mexico with us. I did just that.

It was quite odd taking a bag fill of film with me on vacation and everyone and their dog wanted to x-ray it because it was ODD. No one used film anymore, so I must be trying to blow up something. But I managed and became the photographer who still had a film camera in our excursion groups. People thought it was interesting and it is… I didn’t have the ability to shoot 1000s of photos. I have to pay for each photo, so…I need to be precise in what I take. I came home with 2 1/2 rolls of film. Not enough to take them to the photo lab for developing.

After discussing my photo desires with my wife, I am embracing film again. I finished off the roll to give me 3 rolls. Then I pulled out my Russian camera, the Zorki 4 and put a roll of film in it and took it around Houston, just to play with the camera. I really want to collect cameras and I came up with a project that would allow me to buy a new/used camera and shoot 1 roll of film in it, then retire it to my collection. Originally, it was going to be a collection of Canon cameras but I want more than Canon.

My first act to get this project going is that I was lucky enough to get to Wal-Mart while they were having their Fuji Film clearence. I purchases 17 4-packs, which means I have 64 rolls of film waiting to be used. Next, I purchased a lot of point and shoot cameras. I thought they were going to be a little higher end, but when I got them I was a little disappointed. But nevertheless, I came up with a extension of the project. All the cameras are crappy plastic focus-free cameras. Toy cameras to be exact. I cleaned and checked that they worked… Out of the 19 cameras I purchased in the lot, only 7 did not function. So, there are 12 cameras for the start of this project.

I think I have decided to call this extension of the project “The Craptastic Camera Project.” Again, it is one camera, one roll of film. It won’t happen all at once because remember, I have to save up money for the developing. The project will begin at the end of September when my wife and I go back to Disney World. I will be taking all 12 crappy cameras and use to take photos of our trip.

Meanwhile, I have sent off the next four rolls of film. This will include the 3 rolls from Mexico and my one roll from my Zorki 4. That roll will be the start of the original project to collect cameras and test them with a roll of film. I am not sure what I want to call this project yet. I am still thinking about that.

I’ve seen many different blogs do a camera review with a title like “5 FRAMES WITH A CANON A-1.” But I don’t want to limit my photos to just 5 shots. I know they would be the five best, but like this roll here. I like seeing everything and like seeing my growth as a photographer. It is my blog so if I want to post all 36-38 photos that come out, I can. I can use some suggestions for my camera project.

I don’t necessarily want my rolls of film to be reviews for the camera I am using. I am not all that technical. I just like taking photos and looking at them. I will figure it out soon as I my Zorki 4 film will be ready soon and I would like to share that with everyone.

We are in the middle of looking at my photos from Chicago. This could be considered a Travel pictorial, but I kind of want to move away from the travel portion of the blog. Yes, I like looking at my photos from a specific location, but I think it lends itself better to digital photography. Prime example is that I didn’t finish the roll of film in Chicago. So what is at the bottom of this roll is a little trip we took to San Felipe, Texas while exploring. I just used up the film to finish it out. I hate having to separate my rolls to say, here is Chicago and here is San Felipe between 3 rolls of film. One roll, one post. You get it all.

And we are done with Chicago and have arrived in San Felipe, Texas. We were out exploring one day for photos and came across this abandoned playground in next to a cemetery. My wife and I both took photos. She used her PowerShot G16 and I finished up my roll of film, then used my Canon T3 for the rest of the day. I am super excited about moving to film. I think it will be fun to see what all the cameras will produce.

After the playground, we went to the Stephen F Austin Memorial and took some photos there too.

My final shot on this roll and the end of my first 10 rolls is the statue of Stephen F Austin. Thank you for spending a little time on my blog and I hope you took the time to explore these first 10 rolls. I am excited to see what is next in my photography world. This is the first time that I am actually excited about it in a long time.

Author: Jenny Morgan

Photographer, hiker, flower buyer, cat wrangler, and Latin music lover.

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