I LOVE digital photography and the freedom that the digital darkroom gives.
However, the other day while randomly searching eBay, I found the first ever SLR camera that I used, the camera that started my love of photography. The Praktica Super TL3!
Now these were introduced to the world back in the late seventies (as was I) but I learned photography as a teenager in the nineties, so it was a good 20+ years old when I was using my dad’s one.
Now I am no mathematician but that would make these relics over 40yrs old now…so, with very little hesitation, I forked up the whopping £10 and made the purchase along with some expired rolls of Ilford ISO400 black & white film.
I have had this camera sat around for a few months now, occasionally taking random ‘test’ images with no real thought about it, then, while away with the family, the film ran out! I had forgotten film did that. Very excited, I popped the roll to my local Max Speilman to discover nowadays it takes three whole weeks to have one of these bad boys developed! Three weeks is a long time when you’ve reverted back to a teenage boy again – so I spent that time wisely, researching film developing kits & darkroom equipment, thus spending more money (but still no developing kit).
At last, the other day the negatives returned – because of the age and state of the camera and lens, and the expiry date of the film being long gone, many of the images didn’t come out at all, the ones that did were scratchy, had the same faults on them almost like the camera left a fingerprint, some were out of focus, some were ridiculously grainy…yes, they were perfect!
I had forgotten how experimental film photography really is and absolutely love the few, grainy and poorly framed images I have to show from the first 35mm SLR images I have produced since, well, since the only real concerns I had in life were styling my hair and meeting times with friends (no mobiles back then).
I hope to have lots more 35mm images to share in the future, and hopefully they’ll improve in quality…but not too much mind.
A huge thanks to the amazing Fight The Light Photography for loaning me a negative scanner so I can share these with you.