As part of my Diploma in Professional Photography, we had to take one class called Analogue Techniques (AT - "eh-tee" is what we called it, for short).  AT focused on film photography including 35mm film, medium format film, large format film and darkroom techniques.  When I told friends and family that I was shooting film, developing my own film and learning how to make prints in the darkroom some of them replied: "They still teach that?!?!"  They do, indeed!  As the saying goes: "You can't know where you are going, until you know where you've been."  I think having a good understanding of the basics of film photography can only enhance one's understanding of digital photography…The more knowledge the better!  Being a child of the 1980's, I had taken photographs with 35mm film before (that's how we did it in the "old days!")  However, I had no experience with medium format film,  and no clue as to exactly what "medium format" meant.

Medium format film is a larger size film than the regular 35mm film we are used to seeing.  Medium format film is currently available two ways:  120 film, which is the most common, which allows you to shoot 12 photographs (exposures) on a roll, or 220 film which allows you to take 24 photographs on a roll.  Medium format film typically produces a negative on the film that is a 6cm X 6cm square (which is quite a bit bigger than what you get on regular 35mm film).  (Note: There are some medium format cameras that produce a negative of 6cm X 5cm, 6cm X 7cm or other sizes…but a very common size is the 6cm X 6cm square.)  The nice thing about medium format film is that since there is a larger negative (because the film is bigger), this produces a higher quality image.  However, the downside to medium format is that the film is expensive, and you typically only get 12 shots on a roll…Also, film development and scanning/prints can be expensive if you don't have a darkroom to do it yourself.

PrairieView School of Photography where I studied had many medium format cameras in it's collection that we as students could borrow at any time.  I personally was drawn to the the little plastic toy cameras - The Diana F+ and the Holga 120GN.  These plastic toy cameras which are made and sold by Lomography are simple to operate (basically "point and shoot") and produce the "dreamy" vintage looking photos you may have seen online.  The photo above is one of the photos I took on my first roll of medium format film back in March, 2014.  This photo was taken on a Diana F+ camera with Kodak Ektar 100 film, and I actually used it in my portfolio!  It's one of my favourite photos that I took over the past year.  It's actually a photo of the shop window of a store here in Winnipeg called "Rhymes With Orange," which is the most amazing, little vintage shop owned by Erin and Stefanie of the blog Oh So Lovely.

Because the Diana F+ and Holga were new to me, not all my photos worked out.  I think for some of the photos I was standing too close to my subject so the photos were out of focus.  However, I managed to get a few good ones.  Here are some of my best shots from the first few rolls on the Diana F+ and Holga cameras (all photos taken with Kodak Ektar 100 film)…

Lights at The Forks, March, 2014 (Taken on Holga 120GN):

Exchange District Graffiti, March, 2014 (Taken on Diana F+):

Lonely Light, March, 2014 (Taken on Holga 120GN):

Posters Galore, March, 2014 (Taken on Diana F+):

In short, I love the dreamy, unexpected photos the Diana F+ and Holga produce with medium format film, and I can't wait to shoot some more soon!

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Film developed and scanned by The LabWorks

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful! I've actually been wanting to get a Diana F+. I saw a cute one on that I can't seem to forget about. Haha. :)