Playing with Film


This month’s Sinful Sunday prompt is vintage/retro, and right away I thought of this image that I shot a couple of years ago and have been holding on to. It’s a self portrait of me playing with an old film camera (taken with a DSLR and edited in a retro style.)

Speaking of film–I haven’t shot with film in ages, but I’ve been thinking about starting again. There’s one black and white film class in town that I know of that I’ve been wanting to take, but the timing hasn’t worked out so far–some people have also suggested teaching myself/making my own darkroom. I also have an old Polaroid that I could experiment with, but film for it is expensive.

A couple of weeks ago, I bought an underwater disposable film camera at Walgreens before a friend’s pool party, and I’ve shot a few sexy images on it…only to realize I’m going to have to send it off to get developed, and I’ve heard many places don’t even give you your negatives back anymore. So now I’m not sure what to do with those…

Do any of y’all still shoot with film? How do you develop it?


19 thoughts on “Playing with Film”

  1. Dangerous Lilly

    Wonderful image!! I like the flash shadows on the wall, too.

    Not only did I used to go through copious amounts of film, but I’ve worked in 2 different One Hour labs (one of them much better quality than the other) and spent time as Editor of Photography for my school paper for a bit in college, meaning I had my own B&W darkroom. The darkroom was fun; the manual dodging and burning, the contrast filters and more. But for as much fun as that was, I still feel I have more creative room with Lightroom and Photoshop – plus I prefer the ability to retouch and even meld two pictures together if one had people and one did not, like I did with a lighthouse. I think I’ll stick with digital!

  2. sassycat

    ohhhh love the leg warmers! i still have mine from high school. lol
    great shot & editing. I know that walmart “used” to send their stuff out to get developed and you have to request the negs or it on CD, not sure about it anymore.

  3. Beck

    I only use film cameras if we are going somewhere that I don’t want to worry about having my camera stolen. Like if we take the kids to an amusement park. I can’t take the kids and the camera on a ride, so I grab disposable cameras that way they fit in my pocket. Though, I never seem to take enough pictures to make it to the development stage. Last time we had film developed was 2011 when son #2 was born. I remember Jamie telling me how ridiculously expensive it was to develop the roll.

    This is a great image. Love your take on the prompt.

  4. Cammies on the Floor

    I get disposal under water cameras for when I go diving/snorkeling. Process them at a pharmacy store. I believe the last time I still got my negatives. Of course, none of my photos were naughty.

    Like the faded and then emphasized color of the photo, as well as the shadow.

  5. MariaSibylla

    Love this! Your pose, the leg warmers, your braids, perfectly adorable and retro.

    As for the film question, my brother shoots a lot of film and loves the surprise of getting pics back. However, he develops them through Costco, I think, so probably wouldn’t work for naughty pics. Though maybe there are more artsy places that would develop regardless of content?

    A dark room would be fun. Maybe even rent time at the local college’s dark room?

    Good luck with the film adventure!

  6. Molly

    I am so happy that film has gone by the way side, I suspect I never would have become a self portrait photographer without digital. The process between taking the shot and seeing the final result would have been too long and disjointed to have kept me engaged. I can’t see me ever playing around with film but you never know. As for printing, there are specialist places here that do them but I would recommend looking round for an independent, someone you can actually speak too rather than just automated service. Try getting in touch with a local camera club or camera shop as they are bond to know someone who can help you


    Ps, you image is glorious, I love the leg warmers and the way the light is throwing your shadow onto the wall

  7. sub-Bee

    I love this, the shadows from the flash are a wonderful addition. We don’t use film, it’s just so much faffing about with. However after stumbling across some images my partner developed himself I do really miss that side of photography and we also found our Polaroid camera but as you say film is so expensive!

  8. Exposing40

    I love this image. Funnily enough I started thinking about film photography this weekend after posting the negative shots of my friend. It must be 8 years or so since I last shot on film, and another ten on top since I was developing and printing my own. I miss the ceremony of it and the joy of seeing the inane come to life on the paper in front of your eyes, but I can’t see me going back to it – time is the biggest barrier, but also the lack of facilities to hire/work in.

  9. KaziG

    Great image!
    I’m really rather glad digital has replaced film, the images are less likely to degrade over time. That said, I did enjoy my stint in a darkroom many years ago! 🙂

    ~Kazi xxx

  10. Jack (and Jill)

    So gorgeous – as always – and delightfully retro. I love the meta feeling I get from a photograph of someone taking a photograph. And I get other feelings when said someone is you.

    I haven’t shot with film in years, in part because much of what I used to shoot once I reached a certain age was the sort of thing one wouldn’t want to have professionally developed. I spent a few years shooting girlfriends and friends-with-benefits with a Polaroid, but as you mention, the film was almost prohibitively expensive. Thus when digital photography became widespread it was a no-brainer that I’d go that route instead.

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