Grainy Goodness


Back in July, myself and several co-workers traveled to Monterey, CA for a week to attend a class for some continued education and development related to our job. One of the best perks while traveling for work is exploring the area where you are staying during the free time hours.

I brought along my Canon AE-1 for the trip to take some shots along the sights of Cannery Row. However, I was saddened I couldn't take more photos than I would have liked. For a while I thought my camera was malfunctioning thinking the shutter button was stuck, but it turns out that a dying battery inside a perfectly functioning camera don't quite pair up well (I didn't realize the battery was dead until very recently haha, #filmnewbie).

Being in Monterey was not only a great escape from the office, it was also nice to getaway from the hot July weather in Reno. The whole week's forecast remained in the high 60's!

Location: Cannery Row, Monterey, California

All images shot with Canon AE-1 on Fuji 400H 35mm film, dev and scan by The FIND Lab


A couple of weeks ago, I photographed my friend Lisa in honor of her graduation from nursing school. This would also become my very first portrait session that I would shoot exclusively with my medium format film camera. After this experience, I can confidently say that I'll be shooting a lot more film from now on.

For years, my heavy reliance of the LCD screen on my digital SLR gave me great anxiety. I'd shoot a dozen photos of the same setting until I felt comfortable with the image. I made it a habit to photograph sub-par images expecting that post processing will fix it. And by the end of the day, I'm left with literally hundreds of so-so photos to cull and edit, turning this so called passion into a dreaded chore.

Despite my initial fears and reservations, I have fallen in love with shooting film, due to its completely unique experience. Each shot is expensive, hence you become more alert and cautious with every click of the shutter. Everything is a mystery until you've received your developed scans. Once the scans arrive, it's like Christmas morning. I find that I'm more creatively present and surprisingly relaxed. The satisfaction of listening to the shutter and film wind is unlike any other. But most important, the uniquely gorgeous images it produces, that digital can't fully emulate, brings me utter joy.

I'm not writing this to announce my complete departure from digital photography because that's just never going to happen. Digital photography has been revolutionary for modern technology, and it's versatility is absolutely invaluable. I'm simply excited to incorporate a new medium in both my professional and personal work. I don't fully agree with the claim that shooting film automatically makes you a better photographer, but I do believe that shooting more of it will teach me discipline, restraint, and improve my habits. Although I could use more practice, I'm quite pleased with my first two rolls of 120!

Time to shoot more rolls!

Location: Mayberry Park, Northwest Reno, Nevada

All images shot entirely with Pentax 645N on Fuji 400H film, dev and scan by The FIND Lab.