I made these photos while working over the course of a few days in San Diego, my old city. I went on a quick solo visit there this past June, my first trip away from home in over 15 months and the first time I’d been back in 5 years. In between clients, I would take walks around some of my favorite neighborhoods with my Pentax K1000, it’s my favorite old film camera/lens combo.

I try to shoot with it frequently as it produces consistently pleasing results and I love its simplicity. I often get really lost in the moment when I’m photographing and using this camera forces me to slow down a bit, pay more attention to my settings, and be deliberate in my exposures.

Looking at these images really brings me back to those quiet walks around beautiful neighborhoods that were gloriously in bloom. When I moved away five and a half years ago, it was at the height of a terrible drought and I was so delighted to see the plants, trees, and flowers were lush and vibrant again.

San Diego is rich and varied in its landscapes, textures, and colors. I was out taking photos at all different times of day, in a variety of types of sunlight, but more often than not, it was earlier in the morning with a little bit of marine layer, so the light was fairly diffuse.

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Some of my favorite photos, that I took with Kodak Gold 400, though, were of my friend’s sweet Boston Terrier, Stella. This film caught all the nuance of her black and white fur, the rich red of her collar, and the texture and pink color of her cozy dog bed.

I rated my camera at 400, the box suggested rating. I trust the meter in my camera as it has yet to fail me, but I occasionally will stop up one stop, in order to have a tiny bit brighter exposure. The photos that resulted from this roll of film had rich, true color saturation, a very smooth grain, and crisp clear images. I was delighted to see how warm the light looked and how vibrant the colors of plants and flowers were, especially the coral and fuchsias and pinks, they really pop. This film is known for being a worry-free, easy-to-use film. I have to agree.

~ Kerry

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About the author

Kerry Constantino

Kerry Constantino is a Southern Maine based photographer, specializing in documentary family photography. I began my journey into photography with a roll film, an old Diana F+, and a curiosity to learn...

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