Words + Photos by Jared G. @jaredformayor
Across the interwebz and fashion blogs we are seeing the rebirth of film photography and the quaint charm a vintage 35mm camera can bring to a look. This new trend is easily obtained by rummaging through your family’s storage boxes for one of those old cameras! If that’s not an option, we recommend our friends over at Lomography.com for the best selection of complimentary 35mm film cameras for extremely reasonable prices! The most popular (and one of our favorites) is the Lomography Diana 35mm camera at under $100 (including shipping). The Diana comes in a variety of styles to fit each photographer’s unique style. If the Diana is too played out we suggest you check out Lomo’s mind-blowing selection of vintage Russian cameras (Yes they’re from the USSR). Our intern Jared is emotionally attached to his Lomo Russian Smena Symbol circa late 70’s early 80’s. We recommend to start with Black & White film to fully understand the concept of film photography. Start out with a roll of Kodak 400 Tmax B&W 35mm film; one of the most common B&W films out there. If you’re in the Bay Area swing by Looking Glass Photo in Berkeley for the hook-up and a basic tutorial. LA folk should check out.
Our tips on how to incorporate these fun cameras in your daily style are to treat them like your phone! Bring your camera along on day trips with friends to the marina or farmers market on a bright day for nostalgic mementos! Film camera’s always pop out against a vibrant print or a vintage plaid as shown with WESC daily looks via ig @WESC_USA. Another comeback kid is the glorious Polaroid camera via Urban Outfitters. Not many know but Lady Gaga was named the Creative Director back in 2010 for Polaroid’s specialty image line that could be a reason for the recent spike in Polaroid popularity. Nothing beats that instant gratification just like the insta Polaroids for great times at the bar or at friends. Polaroid’s new line works well indoors with the built-in flash that brightens any dark room. The new accessibility of film cameras is great because not only does it enhance one’s style but it also broadens and expands knowledge and power. We recommend finding further tips and community networking at Lomography.com!
Photography was, and to some still, is considered a science especially when you start processing your film and developing your photos! When looking for film we recommend looking for a film with an ISO of 400 for general use. The ISO of the film dictates the films sensitivity to light when you expose it. So, the higher the ISO of the film (i.e. 600, 800 …) the more sensitive the film is to light so it would be better in “low-light” situations like indoors with friends. However with the higher sensitivity to light comes a high grain quality, which can be quite unattractive at times. With a lower ISO film like 100 or 200 returns great results for bright sunny day’s at festivals or beer gardens with a lower grain quality. But don’t dare try to snap photos in low-light areas without a flash because you will be snapping money away!
When taking pictures, if you have a camera that has manual settings a quick run down on what to do follows; shutter speed is how long you are exposing your film any lower than 1/60 of a second will create a blurry image, your aperture refers to the opening of the lense, this is also referred to as the F-Stop. Think about your aperture/f-stop as the pupil of the eye, at f-stop22 the opening of the lense would be small and you would be snapping panoramas. While at f-stop 3.8 the opening of the lense would be big and you would be getting close up details of flower or a portrait! Visit Lomography for a more concise guide on film photography.