Photos: Yashica T4 Heartburst


Every once in a while, the digital photography world starts making me totally nuts. When it does, I take refuge in the simplicity of film.

It reads differently.
It changes the feeling as well as the process.
It slows things down.

A photographer friend reminded me over lunch the other day that sometimes, when I’m sick of shooting a million tinny, empty frames, film just the thing to make me remember what I like about cameras. Capturing a moment or emotion or place in an image. Creating a physical record. Someone hands you negatives – a tangible object. A real thing. You can fuck it up. You can get it just right. But you’re going to have to wait to find out.

So just relax, ok?

Bend Roadtrip. Yashica T4. Kodak Portra 160VC.

Full Flickr set:

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  1. Love these pictures. LOVE them.

  2. I miss analog…I still keep a F100 with a 20mm in my office w/ Illford Delta near by. I still pine for my first FM long sold to “upgrade”.

    • Man, my mom still has my first – a Nikon Nikkormat retired from the newspaper.
      Second camera was a Canon I bought with all the money I got for HS graduation. Still have that one too and it still kicks ass.

  3. Using film makes you stop and consider your framing. When I use digital I’ll take a number of shots in similar framing, then I have to make that choice later. Then there is the post production involved with digital – which is not unlike developing only it feels like cheating sometimes. Interesting these days that the most popular cameras and effects on the iPhone camera are the Hipstamatic and the “aging” FX. PS I love your shot of the tips jar.

  4. You did get it just right.

  5. Awesome blog, found via the crank awards.

  6. Wow… gorgeous photos. The Portra VC is perfect for those (sad both the VC and NC are gone, but the new Portra is still nice). I love the clouds in that last shot, perfect.

    I’ve been shooting almost entirely film for the last year or so now (I use the digital mostly for documentary-type stuff), and I’m really enjoying exactly what you described here – having to wait, the uncertainty, feeling like you’re achieving something because there is risk involved. I like having to wait for the photos to be developed – it’s like giving yourself the excitement of a present to open, repeatedly :)

  7. what scanner do you use for your film? i need to invest in a good one so i can shoot more film, have a TON of old cameras that have gone unshot for too long

    • Justin – I have the place that develops my film do the scanning. Drop off film in the morning, files are online for me to download by afternoon. Then I go pick up my negatives next time I drop off film.
      I hate scanning! :)

    • Justin,

      I have an Epson Perfection 4490, which works quite well (though I agree, it is a bit tedious – but it makes the processing fees go from $10/roll to $2.75/roll, and I think I get somewhat better scans, so it’s worth it for me).

      • Wow! $10 a roll IS pricey. I use Quick Stop Photo on Hawthorne (a pro photographer friend of mine turned me on to it) and my cost is around $4 per roll, with scanning and uploading previews into my account. I like those guys – super solid.

      • Yeah, I usually go to Citizen’s Photo on SE 6th, and I’ve loved their film development, they’re great folks who work there, and development only is quite reasonably priced, but their scanning is spendy.

        I do kind of like scanning them myself, as I’ve noticed a considerable difference in exposure and color between scans I’ve gotten and ones I’ve done myself – it’s nice to have some control over that, but maybe I’ll give quick-stop a try sometime, particularly for a film swap or something where my scanner may not be able to pick up on the individual frames (because of double-exposures).

  8. i just came across this post after searching for portra shot on a yashica t4. Awesome shots! I recently unearthed my T4 zoom ( which has laid dormant since I began experimenting with digital a few years ago ) I share the same sentiment and frustration with digital. It’s sad that I can no longer shoot the VC I use to shoot years ago – but I picked up some Ektar 100 & Portra 160 and Im looking forward to them.

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