A friend of mine was asked to be a judge at the World Pasty Championships at The Eden Project this year so a few of us went along for the day as well. We explored the biomes, saw Fisherman's Friends perform, made it into the background of some Blue Peter shots, and didn't actually eat any pasties. And, of course, I took my camera, which, sorry to disappoint, is what this post is really about.
When my parents were looking for a digital SLR for me I particularly asked for one with a manual focus ring because I had gotten so used to it on my dad's old 35mm. Of course I've never really used the manual focus on my digital SLR. Why would I when I have autofocus right there? I'm feeling the pain of getting out of the habit now that I'm using the 35mm again though, as you can tell by this very out of focus bird. It's one thing to spend ages getting everything in focus when your subject is still, it is something else entirely when it is a tiny bird who keeps flying away.
I get my films developed by the photography shop in town. Colour developing, a set of 6x4 glossy prints, and scans on a CD for £8.98. It's not a bad price but let's just say I won't be switching to film exclusively any time soon. The problem I'm really having though is that the prints I get are professionally colour corrected beauty. They look great in my photo album. Then I come to the scans. The unedited scans. They're lighter than the prints, the colours are different, and I struggle to create something in photoshop that I think looks as good as those 6x4 prints. I'm still not 100% happy with how I've edited all of these.
It's all practice though, right? If I use this camera enough I'll start to remember how it works again. I'll get faster at focusing and I'll remember which switch to flip so I can wind the film back (another small problem I had.) And the more pictures I edit from this camera, with this film, the more I'll learn how to deal with the colours and brightness I'm given. Right???
I mean, out of 26 shots I've ended up with 14 that I really like. On my last roll there were only 9. That's a pretty good improvement, I think. By this time next year I might even, dare I say it, get a roll with as many as 20 passable shots on it.
I think a full roll is maybe too much to ask for. I can remain realistic.