subtlymanic by LIVIATASLIM

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currently based in singapore, making photographs (almost) exclusively in film.

currently based in singapore, making photographs (almost) exclusively in film.

Journal Entry I

Lessons from my First Film Roll

        I had purchased a 1966 Minolta SRT101, a fully mechanical SLR camera for shooting 35mm film photographs. It was a little bit of an impulsive decision; to pick up a hobby such as film photography without any understanding of the analogue process. What ensued was regaled in the story below; read on to pinpoint my misgivings and learn from them as much as I do.
        On the 8th of December last year (2021), I woke up with a sense of impulsivity. Previously that week, I had finally finished the most coding-intensive trimester of the Computer Science bachelor's degree programme I'm currently enrolled in. Feeling a colossal shift in the amount of free time I now afford, I understand the predicament I would find myself in should I continue to not do anything at all. Brain soup is a dangerous state a creative like me could be in, for when it does happen, it will take at least 5 weeks to get back to the "doing things" groove. I had made that mistake once every year for the past 6 years as a creative, and as a newly minted adult now, I'm assigning myself the role of having more self-control.

        Later that week, a photoshoot was scheduled— an editorial shoot for PEDRO's line of a more sustainable take on the material, called rePEDRO. As a creative, this is an excellent opportunity to kickstart film photography. I hauled myself to Peninsula Shopping Centre in hopes of finding my next challenge— a device of the old to make sense of the now. It has been a long time since I put myself in a Photographer's hat, and the recent resurgence of film photography provided me with the push to pick up a hobby.

        2 hours later, I walked out of Camera Workshop with a Minolta SRT101 and two rolls of Kodak film in hand. It had been such an exhilarating feeling: the first giddiness at the pit of the stomach familiar when one has embarked on a new, uncertain journey. The sun had just set, and I headed towards Padang, an open field in the heart of the CBD. The shopkeeper had taught me everything I needed to know to start photographing with the camera manufactured in 1966; changing the shutter speed, operate the aperture ring on the new 58mm f1.4 lens, rewinding the film knob, how to load a canister and such. I had also went to The Adelphi down the road in search for a wide angle lens and purchased a 28mm f3.5 from Prime Camera. Off I went into the literal darkness (the last of the sun rays were teetering off the edge of the horizon, and the lights were on) and fired away a few shots, which you can view below. 
        The rest of the roll was filled with images of the next 2 days— a tree outside the office, the daily commute to the office and dinner with a friend (hello Sebastian!). The rePEDRO shoot has its own dedicated page; you can view them by viewing rePEDRO Winter 2022 Behind-the-Scenes.
        However, the normal thing to be faced as a novice in a new field, there are some shortcomings that I have faced. Firstly, I had forgotten how slow 1/8th of a second shutter is. Take a look at the image of this watchtower below. I had forced myself to take this photograph when the lighting was clearly too dark. Lesson: don’t force a picture, and 1/8th of a second handheld is........ too low.
        All in all, I don't think that this is a bad first attempt at film photography. One thing for certain, though— there's more to it than I previously thought. I have a very long way to go to
    1) expose the image correctly,
            2) create a better composition in the structure of the photographs,
3) save more $$$ because the film is definitely a commodity for which I have to account for every single click and lastly,
    4) this is a medium of self-expression in which I shall not succumb too early!

        I am very excited to see where this adventure will eventually bring me. Feel free to drop me a message on Instagram (@subtly.manic) or via email, to discuss about film photography, or any type of photography in general! My ears are always listening for gems of wisdom and my heart is eager to meet new film friends!

       Till next time,
— LIVIA as @subtly.manic

Posted— 14 Feb 2022
    Last updated— 14 Feb 2022

Singapore, LIVIATASLIM as @subtly.manic