It All Started (Again) with a Roll of Kodak Portra 400

On Thursday this week, I decided it was time for me to put aside my fear of failing that has been stopping me from using my old Canon AE-1 and gave myself a challenge.

Go out there and shoot 52 rolls of film in 2018.

No time for fear. No time for hesitation. Just shoot and learn, no matter how badly I may be doing.

All of the greatest things I’ve ever accomplished, things I didn’t think I’d ever be able to do, I did while challenging myself. I know in my bones, that on Thursday, I made the right choice. I felt something click in me.

My Canon AE-1 is probably older than me. I bought it off someone, 10 years ago.

In the past I would crank the manual winder of my Canon AE-1 sparingly. Only if the moment was “precious” enough. Only if I “can get it perfect”. I now know, no moment is ever “precious” enough. Every moment is. Even if it isn’t perfect, every single photo has the potential to come out amazing. I just need to go capture it. At the very least, I have something to remember that particular day or year by.

I already had a roll of Kodak Portra 400 loaded since 2014. Not a single shot taken since. So I shot 36 exposures within 20 minutes after lunch on Friday. No overthinking. Just shoot.

The first roll I’ve shot in a really, really long time.

Was the roll perfect? No.

But I had 26 good shots with a couple that I was really satisfied with.

So, that was Roll 1 of 52. Loving how beautiful the colours turned out on this roll of film!

It makes me a little sad when I read this article from The New Paper on how film processors are a sunset industry now. When I stepped into Triple D Minilabs today, it was so nice to see friendly Uncle Mike again. It’s amazing how he’s holding out. He’s really keeping processing and scanning affordable and, in a way, accessible for more people to shoot analog.

I’ve sent my Canon AE-1 for a major overhaul with David from P&G at Adelphi, mainly because of the years of fungus and because I want it to be with me for another 10 years (or longer). They really don’t make cameras like this anymore.

When I think about it, analog photography is being kept alive by people like Uncle Mike and David.

The least I can do is keep shooting.

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