I hoped for early scans all day and when they came, I wished I could send them back. I have been shooting 35mm film for 2 years, but I only tried medium format a few months ago.
Previously posted in IG stories.
I have been pretty comfortable in my lifestyle + documentary bubble for quite some time. The families are different, their houses are different, but I am mostly an observer. I go into their home and document their life as I see it. I play with the kids, crack jokes with the parents, but my skill as a photographer is noticing the things worth documenting and doing my best to capture them in an artful (and truthful) way.
And I am damn good at my job. Come on, y’all know I’m not shy.
But I want to be honest and say I just got back 7 rolls of film, and more than half my medium format images are out of focus. I don’t mean this in a “I did that shit on purpose” kind of way, just flat out I couldn’t nail the focus. [I was shooting on a Pentax 645 which is 100% manual focus]. I did know this was a possibility because my eyes have been bothering me a bit lately. I don’t think I was prepared for an entire roll to be out of focus though.
Now I knew some of my images might be OOF and I took the shots anyway because there are TWO things I am working on with the film: focus and exposure. I wanted to be able to learn from the exposure even if the focus was horrid.
I also purposefully shot multiple stocks so I could see the color differences to learn my preferences. From above, image on the left is Fuji 400h and Portra 400 on the right. I actually like them both.
I even tried Ektar indoors because I could. This is under-exposed (for film) and slower shutter speed caught dad’s hand moving, but here there is not growth without failure. Also, that is totally me crying over these scans but I’ll be fine once I fix myself a stiff drink.
Anyway, I am mostly posting this because we see all the successes on social media and I thought it might be nice to post this failure. So if you failed recently, here’s a virtual hug from me and just remember, it’s what you do next that counts!
I got three deliveries of film this week.
I have a new to me medium format camera with AUTO focus.
I am ready to try this again!
All images were taken at the Love Soaked Retreat with Brooke Schultz.
Additional images blogged here.