Last of 2013

3 of 5 – Saint Paul, MN

(I should apologize in advance for the rambling, aimless nature of this post. If nothing else, scroll down and see a few photos before closing your browser window.)

I have previously outlined my project for the year 2014, and these don’t fit that. However, I sent off a batch of undeveloped film in December 2013 to clear out the backlog of rolls before the project started in earnest. As long-time readers will know, I often keep film around for months before processing it–in fact, some of the shots for today’s post were shot in early June 2013–and I didn’t want to get rolls mixed up with the ones from the upcoming year.

Scanning my film with my new Pakon F135 is incredibly efficient and saves me a ton of time and money. Previously, I had been sending my film out to be scanned, which is incredibly costly. I’m been incredibly happy with the results so far, and would recommend the scanner to anyone looking for a great option for scanning 35mm film.

Above – Saint Paul, MN

I’ve written before on the importance (for me) of letting your images sit before looking at them. I find that waiting to look at them allows me to see them more objectively; it can be difficult to see the images without remembering the moment you took them. Excitement at the moment of capturing the image(s) can spill over to the review time and one can confuse this excitement for thinking you’ve got a strong image, simply because strong images often provoke strong emotional responses.

By allowing images to sit, I can see them at a distance. While I certainly still remember each image I’ve taken–the camera/lens/film it was with, where, when, and other details of the time–I appreciate the separation of viewing them later. Finally, I find that my favorite part of making images is just that: making images. Looking at my own photographs isn’t really enjoyable for me. Yes, you get the odd bout of excitement when you see that you’ve really captured a good photograph, but it pales in comparison with the enjoyment I get from simply shooting the images to begin with. I’m not sure if it is this way for other people who are serious about their photography (rather than those people who could care less about photography and simple want images to see later), but that’s how I see my image-making. It’s the process, not the end result, that matters.

Up – Badlands NP, SD

I think that’s why I shoot film now all the time. I hate spending time editing digital images. I hate spending time in Lightroom, Photoshop, flickr, or anything else. I don’t even really like to process my film at home, so I send it out. I have begun scanning with the Pakon F135 simply to save money, not because it’s something enjoyable. It’s not.

All of this rumination doesn’t really have a point other than this: this year is going to be challenging. Seeing my film faster, not seeing in color, never having a digital camera as a crutch…it’s all going to push me to make stronger images. At the end of this year, I may not be any better at making photographs than I am now. In fact, I may regress. But what’s important is that I’m doing something new. Something that I enjoy, and since it’s my hobby that’s what is most important, after all.

Winter – Saint Paul, MN

I’m hoping that I will push myself and end up with some strong images at the end of the year. I hope that it helps me to progress as a photographer, and doesn’t end up frustrating me. But maybe that’s what I need. We’ll see how it goes. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy some of the final images of 2013 before this blog goes strictly monochromatic.





  1. I’ve recently sold my digital gear and have gone back to shooting film…for various reasons but like you for the journey and the enjoyment of the process. I’m thinking about buying a Pakon 135 plus, however the only reason I have not done so already is the uncertainty of scanning traditional Black & White film, which is the majority of the images I shoot. I see you have a few images scanned on the Pakon with HP5 film (which is the film I usually use as well, along with the Deltas) but I just wanted to ask if you have had any trouble with the scanner inclining to overexpose those images from the Black & White films. I hear that with the updated software it is possible to scan B &W? Please let me know. Thanks!


  2. I agree, not being able to instantly review is a good starting point to editing. As you say it helps remove emotional attachments and promotes objectivity (or at least helps with that last bit!).


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