The Joy of Shooting Medium Format Film on a Photo Walk

When was the last time you went on a photo walk, with no intentions other than simply photographing anything interesting you came across and enjoying some time doing what you love? This great video explores the idea of grabbing a film camera and heading on a casual photo walk.

Coming to you from Samuel Elkins, this awesome video follows him as he shoots some medium format film on a photo walk around his Los Angeles neighborhood. I think this sort of exercise can be a great way to get back in touch with why you fell in love with photography in the first place. First, you're free of any sort of pressure tied to what you produce for money, making it easier to just focus on what you want to shoot. Second, I think shooting with limited film frees you from worrying about editing the images when you get home or from taking dozens of shots. The simplicity of it causes you to slow down, relax, and enjoy simply finding subjects you find fascinating or interesting play between light and shadows. It's definitely worth trying out for yourself. Check out the video above to see what the experience is like. 

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14 Comments

Giovanni Aprea's picture

My comment is not particularly aimed at this guy's video but I think that Fstoppers is pulling the rope too much at publishing new content each and every day, this trend might result in less than usual interesting stuff...

I enjoy just walking around with my camera just to take photos. I even got a smaller bridge camera that I can always carry around. If the area has a lot of interesting subjects, I can come back with my DSLR for better shots.

Terry Waggoner's picture

I just bought a Hassy 500 c/m, first medium format camera. I ran one roll of film through it to determine in there are any issues that need addressing......no composing.......just aiming at nonsense. I'm shooting strictly B&W as I'm located no where near anyone who would develop my rolls AND return my negatives; and yes, I know I can mail them. So, I've decided to start developing my own and B&W images are just simpler.

Mark Dunsmuir's picture

I'd be able to skip the gym if I carried my RZ67 around daily!
Seriously though, great content to turn us on to.

Mark Holtze's picture

I've got a medium Format Bronica with a few lenses to mess around with. Completely new to Medium format FILM and just want to familiarize myself with the camera as much as I can before I go shoot with it. Looking forward to that, I'm thinking a summer time venture, we're in the deep freeze up here right now.

Michael Holst's picture

Shooting with film in the winter can be a really good challenge for practicing getting a proper exposure. I shoot a lot of film and I how long it can take between shooting and seeing what I took because often times I've forgotten most of the photos and get a great feeling remembering the walks/trips/adventures I shot and any keepers are cherished that much more. That's my #1 reason for shooting film.

Mark Holtze's picture

OH I don't doubt it! It's just a time thing, daylight hours are short as well and it's rare I get a few dedicated hours on a weekend like that. I love the simplicity of the colour pallet though of the winter, I think I'm just being realistic with when I'll have the time to dedicate it ;) Great points though!

Edit: I documented my first time back to 35 after 15 years, they actually shared that story here. I had LOADS of fun documenting it, but it took 100x longer to shoot doing it lol. I want to do the same thing, but honestly walking around the forest or wherever in the crisp cool winter...is magic.

Shooting film again has had a big part in re-inspirnig me back into photography.

Michael Holst's picture

"Shooting film again has had a big part in re-inspiring me back into photography."

The perpetually passionate pixel peeping photographers who harp on the idea of shooting film forget that the experience and process can help inspire.

Mark Holtze's picture

Absolutely, it's a craft, an art form, reading the situation, knowing what you want to capture and how to capture it, dialing those settings in and snapping the shutter. It sort of feels now that it's moved into the digital age it's very much SPEC comparison, which is FINE...but not for me. I'm a bit more traditionalist that way. I understand. you need specs to match the deliverables from a professional point of view, but as a hobbyist, the last thing I care about is if camera X has more MP or some modern $3000 lens is sharper than my 40 year old Takumar ;)

Edited: typo’s

Michael Holst's picture

Good god it's refreshing to read this comment FStoppers!

I shoot digital and film. Especially love to use my film cameras when just wandering around for an afternoon. Wish this guy luck, but to me he he demonstrates that a poorly thought out/poorly composed image is a poor image regardless of media.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!!! I wish i still had my Mamiya 7ii!!!!!!! Damn you life!!!! I had to sell it :'(

Michael Holst's picture

They're going up in value as it seems!

Steve Lathan's picture

Great article .