Every analog photographer always goes on and on how amazing film photography is. There are of course obvious disadvantages to it as well, and they vary from people to people. Here are couple annoying things that drive me nuts personally.
1. Waiting to finish the entire roll
36 carefully picked shots is actually quite a lot. The common perception is that 36 frames is a small amount of pictures that you have available. You may have 2600 photos on your iPhone, but the whole approach to photography is very different when you pick up a film camera. Filling the entire roll may take forever, unless you just shoot like a maniac. I’m a very picky film shooter and don’t want to waste frames on pointless shots. I at least try to make every frame count and I may spend anything between 1—3 week per roll. When you really get into it, it is rather hard to find 36 meaningful shots.
Ok, that’s part of the fun of course, but my complain is the sheer waiting. When I’m excited about something, I find it extremely difficult to wait potentially several weeks to get my shots. When I finish a roll, I’m excited and depressed at the same time. I’m excited about finishing one roll but slightly frustrated to put a fresh roll in, knowing that it’s going to be such a hard job filling that roll with 36 images.
The only real reason I’d ever switch to bulk loading, is that I could roll up something like 15 or 20 frame cartridges. A short roll of film would be fantastic for my patience, since it would take half the time to finish it. I like to post my work to Instagram etc. and it bugs me that my account may be practically silent for a week or two, while I try to finish the roll. When I finally get the images, I almost burst post my keepers before again running out of stuff to post for a while.
2. Messing up the development
This entire article is in fact inspired by the incident that took place last evening. I totally messed up my development and ruined practically an entire roll of film. Instead of using fresh developer, I accidentally reused D-76 from a previous process. I had not marked my bottles clearly enough or remembered to dispose the used chemical. I had placed the bottle of used chemical with the bottles of fresh developers. My images turned out horrible. Very underexposed and practically unusable. (Couple example photos below.)
I was very upset and disappointed because I was really waiting to see those images. I had a blast shooting the roll and I worked my butt of for each image. It took a long time and a lot of effort to finish the roll so you can image just how frustrating it was to accidentally ruin the entire roll. I was so discouraged that I almost thought I’d never touch film again and would switch to digital. This was the first time I messed up a development and stuff like this is bound to happen. Probably not going to switch to digital just because of this. I just need to be more careful in the future and learn from this mistake.
The featured photo above (bearded man in the truck) is pretty much the only image from the ruined roll, that contains a somewhat detectable image. It’s possible that I did other things wrong too, that did not help the matter. I didn’t use my light meter and relied only on sunny 16 -rule. My previous experiment with it was very positive and I didn’t get any bad exposures, but it is possible that I got cocky and didn’t pay enough attention to exposures this time. I also seemed to shoot to backlighting as well.