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day 15: list 21

August 15, 2010

Lately when I reach for a camera, I tend to reach for the Pentax. I feel bad, naturally, when I look over at my Rebel XTi, sitting forlorn in the corner, feeling neglected and judged for its newness. It seems to say, the way only a rebel can: “I can’t help it if I’m not retro, you know?”. Now if I were one to engage in conversation with inanimate objects, I would reassure the rebel. But truth be told, she’s right. I’m hooked on film photography these days. It’s my new crack, which stands to reason because for as long as I can remember, I’ve always been attracted to photos that have a nostalgic feel. And it’s hard to get that magic with digital without post processing.

All that to say that I feel like I’ve finally tapped into a style of photography that suits me, so I will ignore the burning stare of the Rebel lens long enough to sing the Pentax K1000’s praises and tell you the reasons why I’ve fallen head over heels in love with the clunky bastid.

  1. Though the DSLR gives me the freedom to shoot at will and with abandon, I believe the age of analog forced, or at least afforded, a certain amount of discipline. A more conscious and intentational approach to photography, which I appreciate exploring anew.
  2. The anticipation of getting a roll of film developed. Information travels so quickly nowadays that we are barely ever asked to wait for anything, which leaves little room for surprises. And though I am the world’s most impatient woman on occasion, I do love me a good surprise. I like the thrill of picking up a roll of film at the print shop after waiting for a full 36 exposures (which sometimes takes weeks to shoot) to see what the photos look like.
  3. The sound! Have I told you about the sound? And how there is no better sound in the world than the shutter releasing on a Pentax K1000 and the clicking as you advance the film?  Swoon.
  4. It’s leaden, bulky, bad ass artillery, takes no prisoners, looks like it would survive combat. If the Pentax were a dish, it would be one of those indestructable Corelle plates with the avocado green cornflowers around the rim on which you used to eat Kraft Dinner with chopped hotdogs when you were a kid. If it were a drink, it would be vodka tonic, hold the lime. It’s the Volvo of cars, the Converse of shoes, the potatoes of the vegetable patch.
  5. I rarely ever post process my Pentax photos, except perhaps minor cropping or adjusting the levels. I used to go extreme Photoshop on my pictures to give them that feel but they ended up looking like they’d been injected with Botox. Seemed like a good idea at the time… but now you got that plastic look, that thick layer of makeup, like you used the wrong foundation for your skin tone. With the Pentax, my photos come out just the way I like them, strait out of the camera with a little layer of magic on top. That glow. That blur. That grain. That thing you can’t quite put your finger on. That’s the K1000 je ne sais quoi.

I guess you could say I have a little crush on my Pentax. And I have a feeling this is the kind of love that will last a lifetime.

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. August 15, 2010 10:53 pm

    These photos are indeed gorgeous. I got a film camera myself and finished up a roll weeks ago but can’t seem to bring myself over to the developer. The film bug bit me, but was not quite potent enough to override my laziness!

  2. August 16, 2010 12:24 am

    I loved reading this due to the fact that my poor Minolta X-700 (35mm film), my baby, has been neglected for an extremely long time now. My Dad gave it to me when I was a young adult and I got really into photography as a result. I shot with only this camera for a really long time.

    Seriously, I was like one of the last people to buy a DSLR, probably 😀 Upgrading to my Sony only took place last year, before then I had been faking the funk with a DSLR-like. hehe

    I know I’m going way off base here, but I’m obviously in a sharing mood, so I’ll finish but feel free to stop HERE…

    Anyhoo, what I want to say is that I’m feeling pretty inspired right now to pick up my clunky beast and join the ranks with YOU (again). I’m actually staring at it right now as it’s a permanent fixture on my entertainment center. It’s begging to me taken for a spin.

    This ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/wayfaringwanderer/2317102090/ ) is the only film photo I have scanned and posted that I took with my beloved X-700. It is probably one of the best portrait photos I have ever taken. Not tooting my own horn, but I adore everything about it. You can’t quite get the same look with a DSLR.

    Great post 😀

  3. August 16, 2010 4:21 am

    What a lovely post..I can’t blame you for falling in love with your pentax. It takes such pretty pictures. I’d feel like I can reach into the computer and grab one of your tomatoes, they look so vivid.

  4. Alison permalink
    August 16, 2010 5:02 am

    All of the photos and especially the colors are beautiful but that second one from the top I do especially like. It’s that little splash of yellow amidst all that green that attracts me.

  5. August 16, 2010 6:11 am

    i can see why you’re in love, these are beautiful, gorgeous colours! x.
    p.s we have lots of cosmos too : )

  6. August 16, 2010 12:26 pm

    I have a Pentax too (I came here via your Flickr) and I reach for it all the time over my digital camera. I totally agree with all your reasons! Sometimes, I drop the film off for a one hour processing and wait in the car for it to be finished. It’s a great surprise!

  7. August 16, 2010 2:09 pm

    sounds like love to me. where oh where do i sign up? 🙂

  8. Ashley Erin permalink
    August 16, 2010 2:37 pm

    I feel EXACTLY the same about my Canon AE-1. Everything you’ve listed here, I feel all that too. Especially the excitement about getting a roll of film back. It really makes my day when I go and pick up developed film.

  9. August 16, 2010 4:37 pm

    Ah, agreed. Although, my film cam isn’t all that clunky or mechanical (Elan 7), I do miss the film. I miss the detail. And the light. Digital handles light slightly differently, no matter what anybody might say to the contrary. I just wish developing wasn’t so expensive.

  10. August 17, 2010 8:23 am

    I have a Pentax too! http://www.lemonlight.org/weblog/pentax-k1000-film-photography/
    And a Canon 5DMkii… (actually don’t get me started on all the cameras I have). I know though that the more I shoot of both film and digital I am falling more and more in love with film.

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