Rediscovering my love for 35mm

With the start of the new year, I’ve been putting extra focus on challenging myself to shoot cameras, formats, and film stocks I haven’t been reaching for. Over last two years, I focused almost exclusively on shooting medium and large formats, which sadly means my 35mm cameras and stocks have largely gone untouched, unused. In all of 2022, I shot only 6 rolls of 35mm, most of which for the most part, I felt disappointed with. I have over 25 different 35mm cameras in my collection and it truly feels a shame to let them go so long with out being picked up and twirled about. So with this in mind, back in February I headed out the door with my Olympus OM-2 paired with a new-to-me 35mm f/2.8 Zuiko lens and a roll of Portra 160.

At first I wasn’t sure how I felt about the 35mm focal length. It was my first time shooting it, having previously stuck with nifty fifties on my 35mm cameras. I just kept telling myself to give it a chance, since I do like to crop my 35mm photos a bit. I thought the 35mm focal length would give me just a little more breathing room and space to play around with crops. I got the developed roll back just 2 weeks later and I was anxious to get home and to scanning. After getting the whole roll processed through Lightroom, I can handily say this is the first roll of 35mm in well over a year I’ve felt truly satisfied with. The 35mm focal length ended up working beautifully for me, giving me just that extra bit of wiggle room to play around with crops. And you can never go wrong with a Portra. The 160 formula, especially in 35mm, just gives the perfect amount of smooth grain. Nice and subtle, with nice sharpness. After seeing how this roll turned out, I feel like I’m falling back in love with the format that got me going in film photography in the first place. A refreshing way to start the year, and I’m looking forward to delving into this challenge some more.

Lomochrome Purple, Bronica ETRSi, September 2022

In September 2022 I went on a little adventure exploring a small town about an hour away from me. I brought along my Bronica ETRSi (a favorite), and a variety of B&W and C-41 film stocks. In my arsenal I had a roll of Lomochrome Purple, a film that holds a special place in my heart. But I had never shot it on an overcast, gloomy day so I wasn’t sure how it would fair. I’m super pleased with the results. Sometimes I feel like the highlights on Purple can get a bit blown out in sunny conditions, so the cloudy weather turned out quite perfect. We explored all over the town, and even found a deserted junkyard area that proved to be quite a trove of wonderful scenes.

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