5 Frames… With A Kaleidoscope Filter and Cinestill 50D (35mm Format / EI 50 / Canon AE-1 + Canon FD 50mm f/1.8) – Julia Beyer

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When I started shooting analog, I mostly shot on Polaroid film and basically still do so today. Compared to 35mm film, shooting Polaroids is very straightforward, as the cameras only offer less than basic adjustment options – there is a lighten/darken wheel and a manual focus and that’s it.

But lately, I felt the urge to dust off my 35mm cameras and take them with me when I was shooting Polaroids. Recently, I had a shoot planned in a beautiful heather field with a wonderful model and we had plenty of time, so I also took some shots with my Canon AE-1 and its 50mm f/1.8 lens in between. As it was fairly sunny, I wanted to try out the roll of Cinestill 50D film that I had lying around in my fridge for a while. I am a huge fan of the Cinestill films and the images of it that I have seen online gave me the impression that it would be a perfect fit for the scenery, and I wasn’t wrong.

I also love using filters and prisms in my photography, so I certainly had to try these out with this film during the shoot, too. The effect of the Prismlens FX Kaleidoscope Filter I mostly used rendered quite differently here, more softly than I am used to from my Polaroids and it was this factor especially that really amazed me.

Shooting with this sturdy, classic 35mm SLR felt different than shooting with my Polaroid SX-70, the weight of the camera felt reassuring in my hands, and looking through the bright viewfinder and carefully composing the image made a lot of fun – especially when you have 36 exposures instead of eight on a Polaroid film.

I also feel that I am truly learning the basics of photography through shooting with manual 35mm cameras and that it deepens my understanding of it. Although I have been shooting very intuitively until now I recognize that these experiences also help me with my Polaroid photography.

I had the film processed at my local photo lab and instantly fell in love with the dreamy and soft results, so I will definitely keep on shooting more 35mm film in the future, keep learning and exploring the different films available. I think it’s safe to say I somehow fell in love with 35mm film head over heels.

~ Julia

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This series is produced in conjunction with Hamish Gill's excellent 35mmc.com. Head on over to read the other half of these stories there.

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Julia Beyer is an instant/analog photographer from Germany. Fueled by her imagination gone wild, she creates dreamlike portraits and surreal atmospheres that are infused with an insatiable wanderlust and her love for indie music. Her work is featured in various international online and offline magazines, exhibitions and music releases. She is a member of the renowned 12:12 Project and Stefanie Schneider's "Instant Dreams" online Gallery.

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