Learning New Things: Medium Format
If you've been reading my blog recently, you might remember that a couple weeks ago I made a post about buying a medium format Yashica-A. Well sometime in between now and then, I bought film and all of the equipment to develop it! After the last few chemicals and equipment came in, I kind of just let everything sit on the floor in boxes for a few days until I was woman enough to develop the film. It sounds weird to be nervous about something like that, but after buying a camera off of ebay that might not work, investing a little chunk of summer savings into film equipment that I've had no training to use (except hours of youtube tutorials), I had no idea if anything was even going to come of it.
When the day finally came to develop it, my boyfriend Josh came over to help, and I probably couldn't have done it this first time without him. He's a perfectionist about timing and measurements, I am not (when we make cookies, I throw in the ingredients by guessing the amounts, and he uses a measuring cup and shaves off any extra flour with a knife.) That said, it was really important for him to be there and I'm really thankful he was.
The hardest part about the whole process was definitely loading the stainless steel reel that holds the film. I must have practiced loading the reel blindfolded about 10 times, and probably 8 of those times were botched with creases. Once I actually got in the darkroom bag, I somehow found the right place to cut the film off and managed to feed it onto the reel. I had no clue if it had creases or was sticking together, but it felt smooth, and I guess part of the film experience is the suspense. The actual developing went really smoothly, Josh read the times for me to agitate and helped me do the different chemical washes, so it all ended up going really fast. I was so nervous as we poured out the fixer and pulled out the reel, but all my doubts immediately washed away because it WORKED! My brother said he could hear my scream from outside. It was the best feeling ever to hold a strip of negatives after not even knowing that the camera was working, and not even knowing if it was on the reel correctly. The pictures my first roll are not that great because I shot it thinking it was a test roll, but regardless I love them so much because I made the pictures from start to finish. Now I want to go out and take everyones pictures with this camera! I have so many ideas and already have a new project in the works with it. I feel like a whole new outlet has been opened up for me, and I can't wait to play with it and see what happens. It was a good reminder to me that there are so many things out in the world to do or make, and none of them can be done by sitting on your butt and daydreaming about them. Just do it!