The Faraway Land of Film

I've been trying my hand with my vintage cameras as cameras and not just viewfinders for TTVs. What a totally different world! First of all, I don't get to warm up with a few throw-away shots before I make my final selection; with the medium format film I've only had 12 chances per roll. Not to mention, I can't instantly see if the composition and lighting were the same on the viewfinder as they were inside my head. And then, you have to actually take the film somewhere to be developed unless you're developing it in your kitchen sink. Imagine that, right?!? Quite a new adventure. Or quite an old adventure, I suppose.

So, here I've decided to share some of my favorites from the first medium-format roll. What a difference in color, texture, and depth of focus. It's like an entirely different medium and I can feel my eyesight having to adjust. I just dropped off a second black&white roll that I shot with a Holga. (I shot this first roll with a Ciroflex, an affordable twin-lens reflex camera, and used my mister's old Nikon for the light meter. As a result, I've completely fallen in love with light meters all over again. So dreamy.)

And if you happen to believe in manifestation then chant with me for a DSLR as this is all the pre-manifestation of a fancier digital camera that's been calling my name for months. Okay, so maybe less chanting and more budgeting will make the DSLR fairies appear faster, but I like to think the DSLR is metaphorically on the way to my house as I type. For now, a few rolls of medium-format film will keep me company.

I've also been keeping company by trimming, hinging, and mounting photos into custom mats and frames. I decided to add some custom-sized mats to my new Etsy shop so that the irregular sized 6x6" photos will fit a standard-sized 8x10" frame. (Good practical advice I learned from my dear friend, Kelly Rae.) I just couldn't give up the square format photo, so this seems like a nice compromise. And, it will make for nice holiday gifts.

Speaking of gifts, I've very much been enjoying Mav's holiday wishlist on the Port2Port blog. Regardless if you're shopping, crafting, exchanging, abstaining, or just relaxing for a few weeks over the holiday break, take a peek at her delightful list of goodies--maybe you want to buy yourself a little wintery treat? 'Tis the season...


  1. I love these Kat! I could immediately tell a difference. Funny thing because after my friend Val challenged me to give up my digi for a LOMO, I decided that the best LOMO for me would be a Lubitel TLR. Not sure if I've been good enough for Santa but here's hoping! I am salivating over 6x6 format. Grass is always greener, right?
    Have a lovely week!

  2. mmmm....loving all the images.
    great idea on the matting too.

  3. love your images Katrina! always so strongly heartfelt.

  4. what a fabulous vintage camera! is that pretty you in the cool green dress?

  5. film terrifies me..I have a few cameras with a couple of frames left...secretly frightened to finish the roll because who knows how they will turn out? I love yours. xo

  6. I like the images a lot, especially the second and third picture. There's something so genuine about the depth of colors, and the framing, of course.

  7. Anonymous12/16/2008

    These are great shots and how clever to actually USE the old cameras, lol. I'm still in TTV mode. Although I finally put film in the polaroid and I think you described it perfectly when you wrote about your "eyes adjusting". So far Ive done 2 pkgs and they are all crap. I havent found a groove yet with taking them yet.

    Yeah for the new camera too!
    P.S Photoshoot in Paris?! Of course!!

  8. I really love these, too. They are fantastic - I'd love to see more of your work in this format. I really love the one with the guy holding the vegetation.

  9. really love the old cameras, and its not too hard to actually develop your own film, its just time consuming and poisonous... i kinda missed the old darkroom smell just now, looking at this post.

  10. these photos are SO beautiful!

  11. film is so amazing. i love these katrina! xxx. ps - have a small somethin' somethin' for you - can you send your mail address to my email? :)

  12. This work is beautiful Katrina! I'm especially intrigued by the second photo...

  13. The picture of the cat may be my all time favorite "Made by Katrina".

  14. Beautiful images, so rich and lush.

  15. cheryl: i LOVE that you could immediately tell the difference. me too. and hooray for film and digital too. yes, the grass is ALWAYS greener... good grief.

    kelly: thank you, lady!

    melisa: you are too kind. thank you.

    tiny red: "heartfelt", how wonderful. i'm going to tuck that word away somewhere and pull it out later.

    aimee: a fun camera indeed. and yes, that's me in the green dress. now i feel all shy! hugs to you.

    mrs. french: i know, film IS terrifying. but exciting too. i'm so in love with your photos on etsy, i'm convinced you could shoot with anything at all: film for sure.

    esti: i like the 2nd and 3rd best too. but i also happen to have a soft spot for that dear mister model! thanks for your thoughtful comments, as ever.

    andie: you will hit your stride with instant film. yes, the eyes have to adjust to each camera like a new medium, don't they? i know, what a concept: to shoot film w/the old vintage beauties! paris, one day.

    jamie: thank you! i would like to see more of my work in this format too. yes, yes.

    mansuetude: i haven't developed my own film since high school. maybe i should try again?

    joanna: thank you! and thank you for visiting too. xoxo, k.

    jenifer: film IS so amazing. and you spoil me with your dear gifts. thank you so so much. i'll be your best sales lady in nyc.

    nina: thank you! and thanks for coming to visit again. i've been loving your etsy shop. congrats!

    kevin: you are dear. thank you.

    gracia: thank you, thank you dear gracia.

    dear friends: again, i'm humbled by your support and encouragement. thank you 117 times. and happy new year too! xoxo, k.


Thank you for your comments, friends. I like to think we are creating a dialogue in this space--building a virtual community.