Having dabbled a bit in film over the past couple of years or so having bought a couple of different Olympus film cameras, I have a real urge to take it a lot more seriously than I have done before, in fact so much so, I've treated myself to a 1963 Leica M2 to get me started on the path I want.

Now I know a Leica or any other camera for that matter isn't going to make me a better photographer, but I love Leica and it's one of those things I've wanted to own for an awful long time now, but the opportunity has never really presented itself. Having now bought it along with a relatively inexpensive lens to get me going, I want to immerse myself in film and become comfortable with using a fully manual camera and confident enough to invest and use premium quality film which at present quite frankly I'm not.  

There's still too much information I have missing and I want to be confident when I'm out and about with a film camera that the photographs I take are not wasted.  Of course that's more simple with digital. Take a photo, check it's good and if not, try again. That latitude doesn't exist with film. 

To be honest, some of this is driven from the amount of time I've spent trying to perfect a look with digital cameras I really like but I just don't seem to be able to create it.  I love the look film can give and so I'm committed to shoot more film to learn more about the process of shooting with film to try to become in some small way capable with a film camera.  It's not a film v digital debate I'm having or subscribe to, each has their own place and you take photographs with whichever medium you want to and whatever suits your needs.  For sure I'll still take photographs with digital, I like the immediacy of digital. 

One of my favourite photos from last year - shot on Poundland Agfa Vista film not digital.


To this end I have several objectives I'd like to try and achieve, they probably sound crazy but to someone who hasn't shot a lot of film they are intrinsic to understanding and getting the most from film. 

Sunny 16 rule - OK, so I kind of understand it but have never used the principle. And so I want to understand it and be able to use it without thinking about it, especially given the fact that most of the time the weather in the UK isn't sunny 16! 

Home Developing - I've never developed a film in my life, but to get the most from shooting film I want to be able to develop my own film - at least black and white. I like the immediacy of shooting digital so the ability to take a roll of film and develop it quickly is definitely of interest. 

Shoot Premium Film for Printing - As I said earlier, at present I feel like some of the time I try to shoot film I'm shooting in the dark (so to speak), so an objective is to become proficient enough to feel I'm getting the best value from being able to shoot premium film and have it printed.

The idea is to document my journey in film, the good the bad and the ugly. I'm sure there's going to be lots of questions and many, many wrong turns along the way. Stay tuned folks! 

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