My Experiences Shooting Medium-Format Film in Street Photography

Shooting with a Mamiya 7 in Dubai

Shooting with a Mamiya 7 in Dubai

So after a long trip in Stockholm, Dubai, and London I wanted to share some of my experiences shooting medium-format (Hasselblad 501c + 80mm lens and Mamiya 7 + 80mm lens) for street photography (and traveling in general).

To start off, I have been really fascinated with shooting square-format photographs recently. To be honest, my first real fascination with shooting squares was from Instagram (and of course photographers like Lee Friedlander and Vivian Maier).

So I first started shooting a lot of squares on my smartphone (squares in-camera, post-processing in VSCO, and uploading to Instagram and social media). Then I realized I had a Hasselblad that my friend Jeroen Helmink gave me about 2 years ago (which was collecting dust on my shelf) that I wanted to try out. Dutifully while living in Berkeley, I carried around my (quite heavy) Hasselblad while on my daily chores and just exploring the neighborhood.

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What I Learned Processing 164 Rolls of Film After Waiting a Year

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When I dropped off 164 rolls of Kodak Portra 400 at Costco

I recently stopped into the Costco in Mountain View, California with 164 rolls of Kodak Portra 400. You should’ve seen the look of the staff— it was a look of confusion, awe, and amazement.

They were surprised that all that film I brought in was all shot by me. They were also partly worried that they would have to process all of it. I reassured them by telling them to take their time— I wasn’t in a rush. After all, I had been sitting on my film and letting them “marinate” for nearly a full year.

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Film Isn’t Dead: The Resurgent Interest in Analogue Photography Video

Thanks to Matt Stuart from In-Public for sharing this short 8-minute film about the resurgence of film photography.

Personally I still love shooting film for the added challenge, how it slows me down, the aesthetic, as well as the surprise when I finally get my film developed. Shooting film (I think) has made me a more disciplined photographer, and also improved my street photography in general. Shooting film isn’t necessarily “better” than shooting digital– it is just different. If you’ve never shot film (or it has been a while), I recommend giving it a go in 2015!

If you want to learn more about shooting street photography on film, I recommend reading some of these articles below:

  1. Introduction to Shooting Film in Street Photography
  2. A Guide on How to Shoot Street Photography on a Film Leica (or Rangefinder)
  3. Video: Introduction to Darkroom Film Developing and Printing with Taylan Bagci in Istanbul
  4. The Benefits Shooting Both Film and Digital in Street Photography

A Guide on How to Shoot Street Photography on a Film Leica (or Rangefinder)

My Leica MP

My Leica MP

I know a lot of street photographers who have gotten into film recently, and have recently invested in film Leicas (specifically Leica m6’s). I wanted to write this guide to share everything I personally know about shooting on a film Leica based on my 3 years of experience.

Disclaimer: I am not a Leica expert, nor do I claim to be. But I will to share some practical tips and insights about film Leicas and how to shoot them on the streets.

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Experimental Color Street Darkroom Prints by Sean Lotman in Japan

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Sean Lotman is a street photographer based in Kyoto. I recently met up with him in Kyoto and he showed me his beautiful 8×10 color darkroom prints. I was amazed by the colors, poetry, and beauty of the images– and wanted to share some of his work on the blog. You can see my past feature with him here.

Sean is a storytellercritic, and occasional haiku mechanic.

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Review of Rollei Digibase CN200 Color Film for Street Photography

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Hong Kong, 2014

Recently I hooked up with my buddy Vishal from Hong Kong (he runs Camera Film Photo) and he hooked it up with some Rollei Digibase CN200 film. I was quite excited about the film (as it is new) — and decided to have a go. I shot around 2 rolls of film, and wanted to share some images and share some thoughts about the film.

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