One camera. One lens.
One film.
One developer.
One luminance channel (B&W).
At least one photo/day.
At least one roll/week.
At least one darkroom or lab print/week for 52 weeks.
Who’s game?
The sure cure for GAS.


This was the content of the Flickr post that we’re told started it all. Written by Chris Maness way back at the end of 2012, the idea was picked up by a few interested members and one person inspired another, then another, then another; the idea grew legs of its own.

It was Alex Luyckx who first got Urban Hafner thinking about organising the idea into something a little more formalised and soon after, the project was born.

52 Rolls - Boulangerie
52 Rolls – Boulangerie

Now in its third year, the basic idea behind the 52 Rolls project is a little different from the outline posted back in December 2012 but still very simple: shoot one roll of film every week for a year…that’s it.

What that “one roll” means is up to each member of the 52 Rolls community. It can take the form of a roll of 110, 35mm or 120 film, a pack of instant film, a single sheet of 4×5, or larger…pretty much anything capable of capturing an image through an analog process.

Mindful of time constraints, there’s no restriction on when participants need to upload their results to the website but naturally, the community will want to see what other participants have as soon as they can (they’re a hungry lot it seems).

52 Rolls - Fir Cone
52 Rolls – Fir Cone

As Urban freely admits, “it’s not easy…this was the grand plan I had for 2013.  It didn’t quite work…and I still have undeveloped rolls but others actually made it!”

Difficult or not, it’s a great way to help break personal photographic barriers. There’s no reason that you can’t use those 52 rolls as a project-within-a-project. Use it as an opportunity to take a less-used camera off the shelf, of finish up that 20-year old slide film that’s sat in the back of your freezer.

Why not take it further and shoot only a single film stock for the entire year, or shoot with a specific lens, or single camera / lens / film combination for the duration? The choice is totally yours.

You might be interested in...

Being an occasionally naive sort of person, I had planned to write a little warning urging half-frame shooters to consider staying away. Fortunately for you all, I stand corrected by Urban:

“Actually, doing half frame is not too far fetched. At least when you shoot panoramas. This is one of my all time favourite posts on the blog: 

See the first image below:

52 Rolls - Flea Market
52 Rolls – Flea Market
52 Rolls - Au Village
52 Rolls – Au Village
52 Rolls - Trabant
52 Rolls – Trabant
52 Rolls - Barn
52 Rolls – Barn

All that’s left to do is get involved. There’s not much you’ll need to do on that front, it’s as simple as the project concept.

Just drop Urban a line at to express your interest and he’ll get back to you with all the details you need.

For my part, I’ve recently deGASsed and have a desire to focus on mastering elements of my photography, so the idea of locking myself into a single platform and single film for an appreciable time frame is an attractive one.

My plan for 52 Rolls 2016 is to break the year up into quarters and focus on one camera, one lens and four film stocks. Although 52 rolls is not an inconsiderable amount to shoot it’s well within my usual annual count, so all that’s needed is that all important focus.

Look forward to sharing, as well as seeing your work on 52 Rolls in the new year!



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  1. This is awesome! Thanks for posting; otherwise I may have never found it. I only started shooting film a few months ago, so this is a great way to jump in the deep end.

  2. Great project. I have a project that I have verbalized to my followers on G+ so now I have to make good on it. I promised a book in 2016 with photos and poems. It might be 52 photos and 52 poems or poem snippets! Poem writing isn’t all that easy.. and I am out of practice.

  3. It’s a great project. I have found that doing the project in 2015 has stretched me quite thin from time to time, but that is partly because I have a daily blog as well so adding a 52 Rolls project on top of that was not necessarily practical. It is certainly worth a try though, whether with just one camera, or with whatever you can find in thrift stores, or with a particular theme to your 52 Rolls.