My name is Adam White. I am a hybrid photographer based in Carlsbad, NM. I in December 2014 I started shooting film more seriously.
I started dabbling with film back in 2009 as something to try and see what the results would be. Used a Mamiya 645 in a studio setting (not sure of the model anymore). But the results were not bad other than my exceeding the flash sync speed.
Fast forward to June of 2014, I had a Canon EOS 630 and started using it again for family related images. This sparked my curiosity in film again, so I started researching film cameras again and instead of sticking with 35mm. I made the jump right to medium format with a Mamiya RZ67 to start my journey.
Needless to say this journey has been an interesting, one filled with ups and downs. Since December 2014 I have amassed more film cameras to experiment with to see what I really like. So far it seems I prefer the medium format bodies. The Mamiya 645AFD is my main shooter while on location and my RZ67 is more for studio work – just like the days of fashion film photography where it was the work horse for years.
I recently acquired a 6×6 format camera and I am learning it’s quirks while shooting personal work in B&W only on it. That’s a whole different story.
With all this said above…
I still struggle with finding the right balance to choose between film and digital for each session. It is a learning curve for me when it comes to choosing film stocks. I see so many I like! But I have at least narrowed it down to a few stocks I do stick with for a consistent use.
- Kodak – Portra 160 and 400
- Kodak – Vision3 250D and 500T
- ILFORD – Delta 400 Professional and HP5+
*NOTE – Ilford is the only B&W film I use now. Also incorporating some Pan F and FP4+.
When I started this journey I was sending all of my film off to labs. I have tried many and I’m not going to name any here. But they helped me along and I finally came to the conclusion I need to start developing at home…cost savings.
I have meet quite a few individuals in this community who have been helpful with each step along the way.
Yes, the developing process is a whole new thing for me. Still learning. Guess you could say I am a perfectionist that want the look of lab quality from home. I’m not there yet and not sure if it’s the process I am using or the equipment, mind you I’d love a Nortisu in my house but it’s just not feasible at this time. So I keep working at it to get it to best I can. Sometimes it’s 1 step forward and 4 steps back for developing.
I will say this about home developing. From just my 1st batch of color developing I calculated that I saved over 300 bucks. Hint hint made the wife happy!!
Now, the community here has been outstanding and the feed back from everyone is outstanding and friendly. The people associated with film have welcomed me into the fold and been a tremendous source help and excellent conversation along the way. I look forward to continuing my journey in the film side and even if it never pans out for pro work, at least I will be able to have something that is tangible and physical in my hands to present to my family or friends.
I want to thank a few people for the support/guidance they have given me:
- My wife
- My kids
- Kelly-Shane Fuller
- Emulsive/Secret Santa was great!
- Mike Padua
And to all the other folks in the film community, I thank you for the excellent conversations and look forward to talking with you and sharing images. Hopefully one day out paths will cross.
~ AJ White
Write for EMULSIVE
EMULSIVE is all about promoting knowledge transfer across the film photography community. You can help by contributing your thoughts, work and ideas to inspire others reading these pages: check out the submission guide.
If you like what you're reading you can help this passion project by heading on over to the EMULSIVE Patreon page. There's also print and apparel over at Society 6, currently showcasing over two dozen t-shirt designs and over a dozen unique photographs available for purchase.