This year was the year I started developing my own black and white film, and I like to think I’ve improved since my first attempt. I couldn’t have got much worse! I learned to stay away from the curly-wurly Fomapan, and tried a load of other films. Favourites have been Ilford HP5+, as seen in my Paris photos, and the C-41 process West Yorkshire Cameras film, as nice-looking as it is versatile. I bought more film than I’ve managed to use, I still have quite a stack of decent film (in the fridge now) and cheap Agfa Poundland film (not in the fridge).
Camera-wise, I’ve bought and sold a few different ones, and have settled on the Olympus XA4 as my favourite compact camera (followed closely by the Fujifilm Tiara for its pin-sharp lens and “panoramic” function) as it’s quiet, small and hardy. One of the first film SLRs I bought for myself, the Cosina PM-1, has kept its place at the top of my SLR list, with the Olympus OM-10 my dad gave to me following closely behind.
Paris was my favourite opportunity to shoot, this year. Not difficult to get some impressive shots though, with so many lovely landmarks, even in winter. I also enjoyed using the DIY Recesky TLR camera out and about, it gave some lovely dreamy shots, even if it was a bit hit and miss. Digital-wise, I shot my first wedding, and realised that it is so much harder to get nice shots than I thought. Spent more than I’d have liked on the whole affair, as my DSLR was stolen two weeks before the wedding, and the flash I’d bought couldn’t be replaced for the same price. Still, now I have an upgraded DSLR, the Canon 550D, and a really nice Metz flash, so I should be set for most situations requiring digital.
Looking back at the photos I shot at the beginning of the year, and the ones now, I think my skills are improving, there are more keepers, fewer “meh” shots. Onwards and upwards for 2014!