Ektar learning curve

I have made such a mess of my first roll of film with this half-frame camera, I feel a complete numpty. I’ve loaded it with Kodak Portra 160, which will probably need a decent bit of sunshine to make the most of, and then I snapped images while indoors, in the dark streets, and on cloudy overcast days… I live in a valley and during this time of year bright sunlight is hard to come by. On top of that, I didn’t really think to frame my images well. I’ve become used to the accuracy of the Pentax SLR viewfinder, and on closer images haven’t allowed for the off-set of the Ektar’s viewfinder.

As a new photographer, I find things more experienced photographers say often stick in my head. For example, “a good photograph is one you want to look at for more than 10 seconds”: as I’ve reflected on this phrase, it has changed the way I look through the lens. “Is this interesting”, I ask myself. Despite this, the Ektar was offering me 72 exposures, so in practice I was snapping away at all sorts of things, whether they were interesting or not.

Wimpy burger-bar in Huddersfield was not interesting, but I loved the way the narrow street had double yellow lines down both sides.

I’ve always liked this view under the railway arch in Slaithwaite, I cycle up here to visit the school I’m a Governor for.

This black dog is difficult to photograph at the best of times. He doesn’t like looking in the lens, and he moves fast. A dark wet day with low ISO film was not the time to catch him… but that raspberry tongue is hilarious.

There’s something evocative about this image, I half expect to find a Pre-Raphaelite woman floating downstream from the peaty weir. Again, the light and film were a bad choice, but I have found myself enjoying looking at this photograph.

More low light gloominess in my local woodland, a path and a mossy wall.

Another daft choice was taking the camera and low ISO film out on a drizzly and murky day into the moors.

I found a splash of colour in some graffiti along a canal wall, and then realised that if I turn the camera sideways I can get landscape images. Which is obvious now, but in many half-frame camera reviews, photographers emphasise the creativity of putting two half-frame images on the same piece of film. I trust Analogue Wonderland to develop my films, and they sent me back individual images which have been corrected and rotated.

Kodak Portra is supposed to be good for skin tones, and I’m probably wasting the capacity of this film with low light environmental images. This next one I’m getting printed because it is nice to have a film photograph of my wife. The angle of the sun has burst across this photograph to give it a bit extra interest.

Taking photographs of junk doesn’t make much sense to me, but then I discover a photograph that I want to dwell on.

When I did get a sunny day, I found I enjoyed the way moorland colours snuggle around these rocks, and by leaving the starburst filter over the lens, I like the way the sun’s rays look like rain on the tree.

Most of my night time shots haven’t worked, however I love the way these two neon signs have photographed. The first is framed badly, due to me not thinking about the off-set of lens and viewfinder, the second I’ve cropped to fit an instagram shape, and it was taken outside a comic shop in Huddersfield.