I’ve been shooting on film (or with any non-convenient high-megapixel low-character smartphone capacity) for a little under half a year now, starting very feebly with what I chose would be worthy of taking a photo of, I slowly garnered the courage to capture moments spontaneously without fear of running out of film – I started to truly embrace my joy of film photography.

My Olympus OM2, Jack Sanford

I always take photos on my phone of both the shot I took on the Olympus, and the settings on the camera – giving me an opportunity to reflect on what turned out well, what could do with improvement and which settings I had to achieve each – my personal method of practice makes perfect. Every photo I have taken makes its way to my Instagram, I embrace being an amateur to film photography and greatly appreciate any constructive criticism to improving my work.

January 2020, now on the 4th roll, the cheapest I could find before I could face forking out at least a tenner for a roll of Portra, my partner and I visited a desolate Blackpool from our home in Oxford, a brief weekend away. The eeriness of the city was a striking template for lockdown life, despite our visit occuring prior to this. We saw the sights, braved the winds and watched some wrestling (my camera was confiscated for this – considered much too “professional” by security).

Still, being new to this film malarkey has its pitfalls. Whilst slightly intoxicated, I incorrectly unwound this film to it’s canister and sliced through half a roll – losing snapshots of these days and moments that I was excited to relive.

The photos I attached survived this debacle, and whilst I feel very unqualified and uneducated to critique these photos, I personally enjoy them.

  1. A photo of my sister at New Year’s
  2. A neat reflection from outside our hotel
  3. Testing out the seaside tram system
  4. Early light over an out-of-season pleasure park
  5. A light leak on frame 13 of 36, the final develop-able shot from the roll.

Slow down, take a breath, revel in the memories your medium returns you to, and at this uncertain time, stay safe.

~ Jack

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About the author

Avatar - Jack Sanford

Jack Sanford

A pharmacist based in Oxford, I take photos of things I like the look of. Still learning, still experimenting.


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  1. the most important thing with film is to love what you do – and look, even the light leak exposure has got it’s charme, hasn’t it?