I don’t know about the rest of you but the COVID-19 lockdown pretty much took away my photography mojo for a while. I mean, when you are worried about the health of your family, friends and yourself, these things are going to take a back seat. What I found eventually once we settled into the new norm, was that photography was one of the things I could control and still have as my release.

Knowing I would not be leaving the house very much during these times I invested in a little tabletop studio tent thing. You know the box with a light on the top inside and various coloured backgrounds so you can do good stock shots for selling stuff on eBay. When buying it I had no particular plans or ideas what I was going to do with it. I had a few practice sessions using my digital camera to get a feel for it but now I wanted to try it with film.

My Olympus OM-1N and mini studio, Sandeep Sumal

My camera for this would be my Olympus OM-1N. I wanted a good colour film to use with it — I am normally a slide film fan for colour but I thought on this occasion keep it simple and go for a C-41 colour film. I picked Fujifilm Superia Premium 400 as my choice. Firstly 400 speed, as although indoors with a tripod, the 400 ISO was more flexible. The film itself? Well basically because it is one of the best C-41 colour films out there. Good saturation without any real strong colour cast; think of it like normal Fujifilm Superia with stronger colours and less of a green tint.

So there I was all set up to take photos, but what was going to be the subject matter. I was set up on the Island we have in our Kitchen so the kitchen cupboard raiding began. Once I had got bored of the kitchen stuff the rest of the house got turned over. I am pretty pleased with this first attempt and it has now got me thinking of other projects so do. I hope you enjoy them too.

The camera was mounted on a tripod with a cable release to keep things steady and also allow for the longer exposures required. I choose to use the Olympus Zuiko 100mm f/2.8 Lens as it is a good performer but more importantly, it gave the perspective I needed to got the items in the frame. The piece about light is important here, with standard stock photography focus across the image is important and all the shots were set at f/22.

If I was going for more ‘arty’ or specific points of focus shots this would have been different. The other thing I was trying for the first time here was using the mirror lock-up function on the OM-1N, again this is around keeping camera vibration to an absolute minimum.

~ Sandeep

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About the author

Avatar - Sandeep Sumal

Sandeep Sumal

London and South East England based amateur film photographer. I enjoy wandering with my camera seeing what the world has to offer and how I can capture it. Oh and biscuits, I enjoy biscuits.

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  1. Your opening paragraph mirrors my feelings exactly! Sigh.
    I do love the fish object. Not crazy about real fishes…but your work is cool. Keep you and your family healthy!

  2. The fish image is great – I love the lighting effect that suggests that it’s just swallowed something – or gone into reverse gear on the last meal…