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The Negative Journey

by Phlogger.co.uk

Introduction

First of all, thank you for finding the time to look at this piece of work.

This small e-book has been carefully constructed to help you understand about this interesting 35mm film photography project.  The book reads in a chronological order, from the inception of the idea, through to how it was put in place, followed by some after thoughts from the parties involved. 

The Negative Journey

By reading through, you will see how the project unfolded. In essence through this small book you will see:

  • The project and its rules
  • The results (and settings)
  • What you can learn

Film Photography

Maybe you love 35mm film and want to get involved?

Are you new to the field?  

This book should hopefully entice you in to the world of film, as It is a journey worth starting.  


Andrew Walmsley

(Phlogger)

About The Author

Phlogger is the photo blogger and creative alias of Andrew Walmsley.  He has been shooting film for 2 years and digital for approximately 3 years.  Andrew became a blogger at university over 6 years ago and continued ever since.

Andrew is a family man more than anything, he has 2 small children, 3 guinea pigs, 3 chickens and a loving wife.  Friendship and education are very important to him.  He is always happy to collaborate with others.

After taking the plunge in to film by purchasing an Olympus OM10 from a retried RAF gentleman during 2015.  Then, after shooting 1 roll (Ilford Delta) fell in love, because of the beautiful prints (grain and contrasts were fabulous).

Andrew has carried on practising the art of film photography by using a logical and simple approach.  Shoot with one camera, one lens and the same film, practise and repeat.

He has always been honest and upfront with his work.  Whether this has been articles through his website or posting on social media.

Through shooting on his "180 days of film" he gained a lot of practical knowledge.  Investing in analogue equipment and using his simple method, he gained friendships, a social awareness and a true passion for film.  This has opened up new areas to blog about and teach newcomers about the beauty of film.

Finding good develops and scanning companies has furnished quality results, both in colour and black&white.  Andrew has now moved on to medium format, which opens up the prospect of better quality photos and larger prints.

CHAPTER ONE

THE PREMISE​

The premise

1 X 35MM CAMERA
​1 X LENS
​1 X 35MM FILM
​1 x WEEK (each)
​8/9 PHOTOGRAPHERS


  • ​Each person would forward the camera to the next in turn.  
  • There were free to shoot any subject, but to help them it was suggested they shoot something familiar to their style.
  • They had to post and insure the camera to the next person
  • Discuss, help and ask questions in a dedicated social media group
  • Each person was to post in the social media when they had finished shooting to request details where to send the camera to next

The phlogger created this​ short video showing the members how to operate the camera.

​*** A note was included with the boxed camera with contact details of the phlogger (see over).












Copy of note included with camera (note last minute amendments)​




Why film?

​There is something rewarding and nostalgic about film, the basic equipment and associated constraints.  After shooting film over a number of months and producing quality results, it seemed the logical option.  The camera and level of basic technology would challenge new comers and those experienced too.

​Choosing people with different levels of experience was always key.  It became clear early on, those passionate jumped at the chance to do something different.  Film is very unique to the digital world, there are so many more lenses and unique cameras to choose from.  For those budget conscious it provides a way to try so much different equipment, that is just not feasible in the digital world, without vast sums of money.


Inspiration

It is very easy to say you are inspired by somebody or a group.  Can you truly say it was thought, some innate feeling or a random idea?  The phlogger is a thinker, who makes decisions based on careful thought.  Knowing the idea was feasible, but implementing the project is another thing.

Once you start researching the vast array of the web, you will come across many examples of similar projects.  Everyone one of them is interesting and has some individuality, whether it was location, person or camera.


CHAPTER TWO

THE PEOPLE​

The photographers

​                                   Stephen Rendall

​He is a published fashion and wedding photographer from Lincoln.  Stephen finished his photography degree in 2017 and is now teaching photography at Lincoln College. A family man who is capable and happy with digital, film, developing and printing too.


Jon Scrimshaw

​Jon's experience goes back decades, from selling in camera shops to working with film until 2014.  A high class natural light photographer who has some unique stately homes in his repertoire.  He launched the Instinctive Photography brand for his work and recently added members to his team.

James Morris

A hard working and caring photographer who tries to satisfy all his clients needs.  James is predominantly a wedding photographer but has experience in portraiture too.  He loves shooting film on his box brownie where possible and networks with other photographers and models through social media.





Graham McInnis

Graham is a personal friend of Andrew.  He has fought in the trenches of football many times with Andrew.  He is very new to photography and never used a film camera before, so was excited to be involved.  A reliable guy who is always up for a challenge and fun.


Keith Lack

Originally from Luton/London area, he now lives in Southport just north of Liverpool. He really loves street photography and candid portraits. Keith likes shooting film as it slows you down, makes you think more and feel like you are actually creating something​. Keith owns an array of cameras, but his usual work horse is a Nikon F2.


Peter Carcas

From the Dewsbury area of Yorkshire, Peter is another member of the film community but shoots digital too.  He believes film requires a different skillset and that is why results are different. Film provides him with a reminder that although it is old technology, you can still yield great results even with budget film and basic kit.


Cassandra Coles

Cassandra  is from Liverpool and loves shooting nature, streets and occasionally fashion.  She works for a famous football team in the Merseyside area. Cassandra likes the nice effect of film and feels the rewards.  The exciting of not knowing the end product makes you more careful.  


Leyton Cleveley

A film and street photographer from Scotland.  He is an avid black and white photographer who also develops and prints his own work.  The level of experience he shows is apparent in his work and his continual support in Facebook groups helping others.  A man who has been brought up with large 20x16 prints though his childhood.



Foto Factory

It should also be pointed out the final important aspect of this project was the company developing the film.  They offered to develop the film and were nothing but excited to be involved in the project.​

This company have developed over 20 rolls of c41 (Agfa vista 200) colour film for the phlogger previously. They have been featured here because of their high class results, fast work and low cost.

CHAPTER THREE

THE FIGURES

The timeline

Statistics

CHAPTER FOUR

THE EQUIPMENT​

The camera

The Olympus OM10 was chosen due to past performance and trials with many rolls of film​.  The camera is a basic aperture priority model from the 1970/1980's.  It has a simple metering system that highlights the exposure through a red L.E.D. (therefore a battery is needed).

It is very common in the second hand market so very easy to obtain and buy lenses.  This particular example had a "manual adapter" fitted which allows you to use manual exposure.  

The camera is so simple to operate, with so few buttons, it would be easy enough for all parties to try.  Whether they shoot manually or aperture priority (it is very reliable).

​The lens

Choosing the infamous 50mm f1.8 prime was a simplistic choice.  This focal range allows you a lot of different areas to concentrate on, whether it was studio, outdoor, landscapes, portraiture or street photography.  Having a f1.8 aperture allows a choice of depth of field and creativity.


The film

Agfa vista 200 at the time of the project was being sold for a £1 in a local shop.  Having shot this continually from the "180 days of film" project, it seemed logically to carry on with a lovely film.

Although iso 200 is really a daylight film, it could be used in a studio or for long exposure.

CHAPTER FIVE

THE GALLERY​

Stephen Rendall #1
















image by Stephen Rendall, 1/60th, f11

Stephen Rendall #2

Image by Stephen Rendall, 1/60th, f11

Jon Scrimshaw #1
















Belton House by Jon Scrimshaw, 1/125th, f5.6

Jon Scrimshaw #2
















Belton House deer by Jon Scrimshaw, 1/250th, f8

Jon Scrimshaw #3
















Belton House deer by Jon Scrimshaw, 1/500th, f11

James Morris #1
















Self image by James Morris, 1/250th, f5.6

James Morris #2
















Tortoise by James Morris, 1/250th, f5.6

Grahan McInnis #1
















Humber Bridge by Graham McInnis,

Grahan McInnis #2

















Humber bridge by Graham McInnis​

Cassandra Coles #1

Cassandra Coles #2

Cassandra Coles #3


















image by Cassandra Coles​

Keith Lack #1

















Southport rock by Keith Lack​, 1/500th, f8

Keith Lack #2

















Memorial by Keith Lack, 1/250th, f16​

Keith Lack #3


















Jokes by Keith Lack, 1/250th, f11​

Peter Carcas #1


















Thornhill Park leaves by Peter Carcas

Peter Carcas #2


















Ossett Park by Peter Carcas

Peter Carcas #3


















Ossett Park by Peter Carcas

Leyton Cleveley #1


















Sunset by Leyton Cleveley

Phlogger #1


















The girls by Phlogger

CHAPTER SIX

THE CONCLUSION

Problems

  • Length of project
  • Time
  • Unforeseen
  • ​Camera faults


Length

The project was estimated at 9 weeks, it took approx 17 weeks.

​Time

People had holidays to factor in, their personal lives and professional careers.  This caused delays in finding time to shoot.

Unforeseen

Unfortunately events like weather and injury affected one photographer, so they had to wait to recover and suitable weather conditions.

Camera

Are you wondering why there are only 20 shots from a 24 exposure film?  Some of the team reported problems due to the timing of shutter and said the  speed seemed slightly out.  

There were also light leaks caused when the phlogger tried to rewind the film and snapped it.   After noticing the film had snapped the camera was quickly shut.  A plea for help was sent to the group for advice.  Luckily the developing company came to the rescue (see image on next page).

The Plea

















The plea letter sent to Foto Factory

Conclusion

Writing a conclusion is slightly easier than an introduction, but still difficult.  

This project had ups and downs,​ generating the support and interest at the beginning to chasing the photographers took time. But this was something everyone collaborated on and communicated where possible. Some members were more active on the group which helped those who were unsure.

Having worked with each other over the few months, you start to get to know people and that's what this project was about. it was never about tack sharp images or high end cameras, or film.  A group project is about life, how we operate, what we see and how we communicate this.  The photography is one part of the puzzle.

After the issue at the end, the disappointment felt was for a few of the photographers that were affected.  However, everyone should remember this was a group project and what a great time they had on the journey.

Even though the camera did not perform perfectly, there were some great images and you could see what others were trying.You can only admire anyone picking up a camera with no experience and shooting with so few shots.

You would not believe the anticipation and nerves caused by waiting.  This camera was the only 35mm example owned by the phlogger.  Although it is back and the idea was to sell it to fund breakages of camera equipment, the future is now cloudy.

During the latter half of 2017 the follow up to the project was discussed with a few photographers around the world.  Reading about there projects and experience, makes you think. Should the camera stay, or should it go?

What happens now - is down to you all.    

CHAPTER SEVEN

THE QUOTES

Feedback

"This is a 'Negative Journey' I would take again​"

​Stephen Rendall 

"Thanks for involving me"

Graham McInnis

"Trust , creativity and to be unique are the fundamentals for photography and this project had them all​"

James Morris

"I did like the camera but it took me a bit to get to grips with it haha but I would definitely use it again​"

Cassandra Coles

 

"Felt privileged to be asked to participate. As someone who only turned from film to dslr a couple of years ago, I did feel the pressure to not mess up, no post edit safety net with film!" 

Jon Scrimshaw

"Its interesting to test yourself by having only three shots on a roll of film.The camera was fun to use, I like the simplicity of it."

Peter Carcas 

"I took part as I liked the idea of being restricted to a couple of shots and sharing the experience with likeminded people. If we do it again would love to shoot b&w (Kodak Tmax or Tri X)"

Keith Lack

CHAPTER EIGHT

THE END

FOUND THIS INTERESTING?

The phlogger is always look for like minded people to work with.  He continues to shoot film and come up with new projects.  

visit the website (phlogger.co.uk)