Saving Money with Film Photography

I’ve heard a lot of people say they haven’t tried film because it’s too expensive. Myself included. The main reason I took so long getting started with film–other than sheer laziness–was because I was thoroughly convinced I did not have the financial means. But I’m so glad I finally took the plunge, even if it took a few initial purchases. Because while digital might be what’s best for most, I think I’ve always been a film-tographer at heart.

I’m not going to lie on here and say film can’t get pricey, that labs don’t cost more than they used to, that your 1980s Pentax K1000 won’t need any more trips to the shop than a brand-new digital camera, but I’m also not going to say film photography isn’t possible. Photography as a whole is an expensive hobby. Whether we’re buying SD cards and saving up for our dream lens that’s priced at well over a grand, or buying five rolls of film for the next shoot and saving up for a Hasselblad, we’re spending some serious moo-lah. And it’s not fair to say one is pricier than the other. They both cost.

But they are both equally as worth it.

I’ll come clean. I’m not swimming in millions (or even dollars, at the moment), which means I learned very quickly how to save money and still do what I love. If you’ve just gotten started with film, or are going through a rough financial patch and photography is the only thing that’s keeping you sane, here are a few money-saving tips I’ve learned from both experience, and from my fellow film-tog friends. Continue reading

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What is Freelensing, and How Can You Get Started?

I’ve been freelensing since 2015, so I often forget that it’s still not a well-known craft. I find myself talking about it casually with friends and fellow photographers, only to stop short when I notice their blank stares.

But freelensing has changed my photography so much since I first learned about it from another photographer, so I feel a strong desire to spread the word. Freelensing rocks, and EVERYONE should give it a try at least once.

Assuming you’re in for the risk… Continue reading

Monochrome for a Month: Week Deux

For those of you who don’t follow the blog, I decided to go entirely monochrome for the month of April. Week one was a bit of a struggle, but this week I was determined to make better progress. I went out and bought a polarizing filter for bright sunny days and planned a family trip to a hiking ground that has a few caves on its maps. Chris urged me to try to d choose only ONE camera, so I chose my Nikon D5300, but wound up bringing four lenses: the deconstructed 50mm, the 40mm, the 35mm, and my 55-200mm. Continue reading

Monochrome for a Month: Week One

All images © 2017 Lina Forrester

A week ago, I decided I would go monochrome for the entire month of April. I changed my camera’s settings and loaded my Instax and Pentax with B&W film. After the dull and snowless winter I’m ecstatic that the trees are greening and the flowers are blooming, and so I knew this would be a big challenge for me, but I suppose that was the point. Challenges, no matter how frustrating, are often great learning experiences.

I learned just how difficult this challenge might prove to be on day one, when we headed to a nearby cave for some exploration. Continue reading

DIY Pinhole Photography

A recent article written by Steven Dempsey showed up on my Twitter feed Saturday. I was drawn to the eerie quality of his work as I read about his passion for pinhole photography, which he achieves with a DIY lens he made with a body cap.

Not one to pass up an opportunity to destroy a camera accessory for the sake of art, I immediately sent my engineer husband the wikihow directions. He’d already taken apart my 50mm and removed the rings so I can use it better during freelensing, and he needed a new project. Continue reading

A Morning Out with the 50mm

This snowless winter has me burned out. It’s cold and bitter and everything is brown. I discussed in my last post how this winter is affecting me emotionally.

BUT FINALLY we got lucky and received a Saturday that reached temps nearing the 67 degree mark. After dealing with the seemingly neverending ice-biome lifestyle, it was–and we dared to say it later on during our walk–a little too warm.

So, we decided to get out of the house as soon as we could and head to the nearest hiking ground to enjoy the dewy morning and the earthy breeze. It wasn’t spring, but I pretended it was only a thaw away. I ignored the brown everything and drunk up the sunshine like a teen on a summer afternoon.

And I brought the 50mm I’d been given on my birthday, the one I had yet to be given a chance to play with. Continue reading

Ballerina

Goo started ballet a few weeks ago. She got a pink tutu on her birthday, a pair of split-soles to match, and on the evenings after class she shows us what she learned. She talks about it all the time. Her teacher says she’s “giggly.” It’s exciting to sit in the waiting room and listen to the music play in the other room. But it didn’t dawn on me until just a couple of days ago that I haven’t gotten out the DSLR to get some pictures.

Might not seem like a big deal, but she just turned four, and her doing ballet is something I always fantasized about while pregnant, and I feel like this is more than a new and fun thing for her to learn. It’s also a milestone. She’s gone from chubby and toddling, to long and limber, and for the first time I can actually *see* that she’s growing up right before my eyes.

I didn’t have a lot of time before her class, so I quickly got her dressed and put her in the nearest area of natural light. I was on the floor and shaking and changing lenses and standing on chairs and wobbling and freelensing. She was very good…probably because I bribed her with chocolate.

For the editing, instead of going black and white, I decided to go with (very faint) pink highlights and crushed blacks for a “filmy” look. I also lowered the vibrance to make the pink more subtle.

What I learned:

  • Always make sure your window is clean.
  • Keep an eye on frames and make sure they’re straight.
  • Keep an eye on wood floors and make sure the boards are straight.

All images © Lina Forrester