In Film to Phone and Back I wrote about my return to film. It just so happened that doing so required actual film and a battery. In a display dominated by memory cards, my local CVS had a very small selection of mostly out of stock consumer grade films. Each box was dust covered. Not a good sign. So on a recent trip to Newspace Center for Photography, I picked up a Blue Moon Camera (@bluemooncamera) business card and made the trek to NE Portland.
Technically, the term “blue moon” means the 3rd full moon in a season that has 4 full moons and not the regular 3. A “blue moon” occurs once every 2 to 3 years so the phrase is used colloquially to mean a rare event. Blue Moon Camera does not disappoint. In a time of digital cameras, Blue Moon carries not only consumer grade film but also professional grade films such as Portra and Ektar and even hard to find film formats like Minox. They also carry an outstanding selection of cameras that use film.
Blue Moon’s toy camera selection was also phenomenal with half a case devoted to Holgas of many colors and purposes. Holgas are 120mm plastic cameras that boast problems such as light leaks and little exposure control as features for those willing to embrace the serendipity. Very counter to the Ansel Adams f16 view camera and the “control of the tool” mindset. The funny thing is, as my friend on Fourth Breakfast pointed out, you can also shoot through a Holga lens with your digital camera. Definitely a mash-up.
I own 2 black Holgas along with the requisite black electrical tape to seal the plastic back against light leaks (or some of them anyway). Blue Moon had a show up of Holga photographs taken by the staff. The photos were beautiful as if to say, look at our awesome printing skills! Did I mention that they print from negatives? More common today is printing from a digital file made from a scan of the negative.
Blue Moon also had a breed of Holga that I had never seen before: The Stereo Holga. It takes 2 pictures for a stereo view.
I was madly snapping away with my iPhone in a store devoted to film (faux pas?) but I had stopped by for a Lithium CR2 battery to revitalize my neglected Yashika T4. So I must mention a significant section in the store devoted to developing film. All that equipment sure does look familiar. I can hear the sound of dripping water taps now and smell the fixer!!
After a lovely chat with Jake Shivery about the various pros and cons of different types of film, I walked out with a battery, one roll of Portra for people and one roll of Ektar for landscapes. I put the roll of Portra in my camera and set my focus for the next 36 exposures on people. After the first exposure, my first words were, “There’s no preview on this thing!!!!!!”
My husband laughed and laughed. We’ll see about this film thing:) Here’s to serendipity!
All writing and images by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2012