Just make sure you bring cameras that you KNOW work properly. That should do it. I've never had any issues in half a century of traveling w/ film cameras, and I am pretty sure that the people who do, use "new" cameras that haven't been verified to be reliable.
I too have travelled with film cameras for more than half a century and never had issues, it's about having confidence in your abilities and in your equipment by ensuring that your equipment is maintained and checked occasionally by a professional camera tech. which in the long run is a lot cheaper than going on the trip of a lifetime and coming back with un useable results, I believe this applies not only to film cameras but also digital ones that can also develop faults that aren't immediately apparent.
Last edited by benjiboy; 08-04-2014 at 09:54 AM. Click to view previous post history.
I'm the opposite to a lot here in that I started out on digital and then changed to film at college. I practised using film at all times when I first changed, before I went film-only on some college assignment work. Sounds like you're using film so just go for it. I learnt early on that it's ok to miss some shots - there's a lot of subjects out there.
Originally Posted by fresnel10
For me the anxiety is regarding a digital image. What if it turns out to be something worthy. The image winds up as an abstract collection of numbers that cannot be viewed or printed without being converted back to its analog form.
As is evident by three pages of replies in a day, you aren't alone. I still travel with both a film camera and a digital. I use the digital to dial in my lighting in difficult situations (it replaces polaroids) and for shots where digital makes more sense. I use the film where it works best (for me that is portraits, architecture, and landscapes). I'm still not a 100% confident that it'll turn out who I envision (especially since I use a lot of expired film but am not looking for the lomo asthetic), but I have learned to embrace unexpected results. Despite shooting the majority of my honeymoon, last year's road trip (and a wedding) through BC and Alberta, and this year's roadtrip through Quebec and New Brunswick on film, I have far fewer misses than I ever would have expected.
You asked for advice, so here my advice. Chose your format (35mm or Medium Format, B&W or Colour) and buy a big stock of the cheapest and most forgiving film you can, and shoot a lot of it in situations where it doesn't matter. For colour 35mm I suggest Superia 400 or Kodak Gold 400. For colour MF I'd go with Porta 400 (Ektar is cheaper, but not forgiving. Lomo has a cheap ISO400 colour film, I know nothing about it, but would guess it would work well). For Black and White everyone has a favourite: Kentmere 400 is good and dirt cheap 35mm, Tri-X and HP5+ are staples for a reason, and Tmax 400 is the most forgiving film ever made (it has an extra stop of latitude up and down so you can shoot ISO 200, 400 and 800 on the same roll - oh, and it is the cheapest 120 film I can find these days).
Okay, how do you shoot a lot? Be Young and Stupid
Take a weekend trip someplace with some friends; bicycle, motorcycle, car, or bus. Just go someplace new or different. Get excited and go with a sense of adventure. Make up your plan as you go along, and be open to the photographic opportunities that appear. Take snap shots. Take serious photos. Take every photo you feel like (but only take that photo once, maybe twice if it really matters) Make a point of using the sunny 16 rule as much as possible; when in doubt over expose.
When you get your prints back (or develop your film yourself) you'll be amazed at how well everything turned out. C41 film in particular is so forgiving you'll quickly start to trust it. If you do your own dark room work, you'll learn that even a badly misjudged (3 stop off) B&W film shot can be brought back from the abyss with a bit of playing in the dark room.
I did say get your prints back, not scans. For me, prints are what make film so great. Feelign them in your hands, holding them up and passing them around you'll forgive imperfections that you probably wouldn't on the screen.
I now trust film to the point of carelessness. I'll wing my settings more than I should. So far it hasn't bitten me. So far, I've had only a tiny handful of failed shots. I am not content to walk around with a meterless camera and only pull out the pocket meter (or phone-app that does the same thing) for the shots that really matter to me (and I'm finding my guess and the meter are usually pretty close these days).
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Shoot color negative film rather than more exacting slide film. You'll have less issues with exposure.
I'm 28, so I distinctly remember a good bit of my life before our family got their first digital camera. At this point, I shoot all family snapsot stuff on digital.
I'm way too young to remember this, but I was talking with someone who was telling me that a lot of old hotels used to have darkrooms in them, so tourists could develop their film while on vacation.
Originally Posted by Newt_on_Swings
Here is a boring picture of a hole.
This was taken circa 2010 at the Ausable Chasm in the Adirondacks, New York. They call it "Jacob's Well." I believe the film was Kodak Gold 200 (or perhaps Fuji's equivalent - just a consumer film). The pro shop optically printed 4x6 snapshots, though the posting here is their negative scan.
It was difficult to see the bottom of the hole from the path, leaning over the railing yet holding onto it. My best friend and I decided we wanted a picture straight down; we had to hold the cameras out over the hole.
She used her Canon Powershot P&S on auto mode, and got nothing several times, as the camera helpfully thought for her and compensated exposure for the rock face - the hole was always completely dark. Manual mode on that P&S is menu-driven (a pain to get to), and we still would have had to experiment to get a decent exposure.
So, I set my 35mm for aperture priority, made a (fairly wrong) guess for focusing distance, wrapped the strap around my wrist so as to not lose the camera, reached out and snapped one picture. I wasn't concerned at all, and it was two weeks before we had the film developed and printed.
Surely a better photographer would have resulted in a much nicer photo regardless of film/digital. However, I'm just trying to illustrate a point - you don't have much to worry about.
To be completely honest, this is something you will have to work out for yourself. When my wife and I go on vacation we carry both film and digital.
I use film, usually black and white, and I love it.
My wife uses digital and firmly believes I am totally wasting my time.
I love the mystery and surprise that sometimes comes with film.
My wife wants to "know" she has the shot.
We both come home with good pictures.
I strongly recommend that you work with film and get comfortable. That should help with your anxiety. But...my wife would not agree.
BTW - I am pretty sure my wife has a much higher keeper rate but that has nothing to do with film vs digital. It is because she is an absolutely ruthless editor.
The simplest tools can be the hardest to master.
Sorry but I never felt any film anxiety. If using film makes you uncomfortable, shoot digital only.
"The problem with photography is that it only deals with appearances." Duane Michals
"Only weak pictures need perfection." David Vestal