A while back my college photo instructor, Bryon Darby, was in Kansas City selling books and equipment at a photo gear swap and shop. I saw the list of items he had for sale probably months before this event and I had my eye on this point and shoot 35mm camera that he was selling. Well, I bought that camera and this is the story of my first color roll I’ve ever shot.
**NOT 35MM** // Bryon Darby, being Bryon Darby, at the Photo Gear Swap n Shop
First and foremost, Bryon Darby is an amazing human being and an amazing photo instructor. I definitely wouldn’t be the photographer I am today if it wasn’t for him and the group of photographers I went through the program with while at KU. Darby is finishing up his last semester teaching at KU and he will be moving closer to family in Utah. Family over everything
WE WILL MISS THE HELL OUT OF YOU, DUDE.
I was having a conversation with a good friend and fellow Darby classmate, Alec Smith. He said he bought an old camera from Darby and stated that he just wanted to keep the lineage of #BDARBS going and keep the good vibes that came out of Darby and his classes strong by taking what he has to sell and claiming it for our own so that when he finally moves away to Utah we can physically keep that bit of us very much alive. If anyone should own his stuff, outside from his family and loved ones, it should be our class, our crew.
**NOT 35MM** // Alec Smith, being Alec Smith, at the Photo Gear Swap n Shop
I loved that. And it made me stoked that Alec decided to buy a camera from him. We then later had a conversation about how I wanted to make the jump into film again. I learned on old black and white 35mm but never jumped into color. So I started describing my ideal camera.
Small. Discrete. Non threatening.
I want to pull out a camera as easily as I can put it away. I want a camera that no one would think twice about. When I pull out this camera, I want everyone around me to think that I’m just some chump doing absolutely nothing other than being a tourist.
Bryon owns a camera like that. In fact, he was selling it. So I did what I had to do. I decided I too was going to participate in continuing the vibes and lineage that our class had created with Darby while we were figuring ourselves out at KU and I realized I wanted something to keep of his before he moved away. So I bought his point and shoot film camera and a book and gave that dude a hug.
**NOT 35MM** // Newly acquired point and shoot Ricoh GR1 and book by Glen E. Friedman
Over the course of three or four days, I made 24 exposures, a handful in which I ruined by exposing it to light by being an idiot and loading the camera like a jackass. In no real particular order, here are the images that I made with the Ricoh GR1 point and shoot 35mm camera.
And there you have it. My first ever, roll of 35mm color film. Having this tiny Ricoh GR1 is amazing. A point and shoot range finder that really doesn’t tell me a whole lot about what’s happening. All I have to do is mentally focus on what I’m composing and create the image. I don’t know if it exposed correctly, I don’t even know if it’s in focus because I don’t actually see what the lens sees because I’m looking through a completely different window.
The last shot of the old man was me basically just trying to see if I could do it. I’m so scared of photographing people out and about that I don’t know, but this camera is sooooo damn discrete and the shutter is sooooo damn quiet.
I had groceries in one hand, saw the composition, pulled it out, made the image, and put it back, all with one hand. No one didn’t even notice, no one even cared.
I hope I get to exploit that fact soon once I start buying more film and going out with it more. I’m pretty sure all my expensive digital gear that I’ve worked so damn hard for just got put on the back burner by a point and shoot 35mm lens that wasn’t even a fraction of the cost.
All these 35mm came straight from the negative. No adjustments, no nothing. It’s such a way crazy process for me being stuck in the digital workflow.
The digital workflow usually goes as follows
Set the camera settings. Aperture. Shutter speed. ISO. White balance. Shoot. Upload. Organize.
Edit. Color corrections. Contrast adjustments. Photoshop. Color grade. Sharpen.
With this film I got back, I didn’t care for any of that. Even the shooting was different. Because it’s a point and shoot 35mm, I don’t have control over any of that (well, not really)
Choose film and speed. Load camera. Point. Shoot. Develop. Scan. Organize. Maybe some color correcting and contrast.
But that’s it. I had no desire to do color grading or any major tonal adjustments. Everything felt amazing to me in it’s characteristics of what it already is and it’s (so far) literally everything that digital isn’t. It’s taking me out of everything I know and putting me in the position to worry about nothing other than composing. When I shoot I don’t think about the white balance, or the right or wrong exposure or even the proper focus. I’m thinking only about the composition and the moment. Nothing else.
Some things were out of focus or over exposed, but I found myself not caring too much that it was. Film is dope. Something special about it and I’m glad I’m finally doing it.
Sorry for the long winded post.
Here’s to film.
Here’s to keeping things simple.
Here’s to family.
Here’s to Bryon Darby.
#ASIANDOWORK // #BLAMEBRYONDARBY