March 23, 2019

Part 2: Shooting Film After All These Years - Pick Hits

The Three Musketeers
It was a great experiment in summer 2018, shooting film as a way to limit living a digital life and to get back to my photographic roots.  Starting as a boy, and then later at a professional, I developed and printed hundreds of rolls film by hand.

I used these three cameras.  On top, my first Nikon, from the 1970s, a Nikomat (aka Nikkormat), purchased for me by my uncle in Hong Kong.  It had a roll of film in it that I started shooting in 2011.  I obtained a new battery for the light meter, but did not know if it would work.

In the middle is a medium format Holga.  I bought it used for $10 at the In-Sight Photography project in Brattleboro, VT.  I had no idea if it was functional.

At the bottom is a Diana Mini.  The complex and creative film photographer Beth Maciorowski spoke to my photography students and suggested they use this camera for their nascent film explorations.

Beth also explained how to create multiple exposures and incremental, overlapping panoramic images.  Thank you Beth for the inspiration.

I shot six rolls of film before sending them off for processing.  Bye-bye instant digital gratification.  The anticipation built as I waited to see the scanned film.

I cannot fully describe the thrill of seeing the scans of my film images.  On one hand, I see them as rough, imperfect and bursting with soul.  They  disrupt clinical digital perfection.

I vacillate though, wondering if I am making romantic excuses for sometimes messy, unsharp and grainy images.

Click on images to enlarge them.

For additional film explorations, I invite you to also visit Part 1: Shooting Film After All These Years - Process         
Holga - East and West

                                     Holga - From Concord to Rowe to Pittsfield, MA                               

Diana Mini - Boston Harbor

Diana Mini - Walden Pond

Diana Mini - Gettysburg 

Holga - Empire State Building 

Diana Mini - Long Point Light

Nikomat - Labor Rally, Greenfield, MA 2011

Nikomat - Self-Portrait, Same Roll of Film as Labor Rally, 2018

Nikomat - Shutter Click Heard 'Round the World

Nikomat - Dam

Nikomat - Black and White Sails

Professor John Nordell teaches courses in the Visual and Digital Arts Program at American International College in Springfield, Mass. He blogs about the creative process at