All photos were taken with Kodak 400 ISO black and white film using my 40-year-old Pentax K1000, on one overcast winter day, January 14, 2020. I used the scans from the company that developed them just as they came off the roll of film, no adjustments at all.
Apparently, I can’t take a walk without a camera, a real camera, not a cell phone, because cell phones don’t see the world as I do. Not even just down to the post office or to the grocery store. Except that my DSLR, my constant companion, needs to be cleaned and repaired and of all things I haven’t gotten to that yet. Since my camera’s been out of service I’ve actually decided not to walk somewhere because I had no camera to capture the million things I find to be really cool as I walk along, that special way to perk my creative instincts on any given day.
But I still have my Pentax K1000. I mentioned to a friend that I’d considered getting my hands on some black and white film to use in my old Pentax K-1000 for my Christmas walk on the trail, but I couldn’t find any to purchase anywhere, and had no idea who developed it now. There is nothing like black and white film, and it’s been years since I’ve used it. He mentioned he had a few rolls and he’d give me some, which he did, and I waited for the right moment to load it in my camera and head out the door.
“Do you have to photograph me all the time?” Bella wants to know. Yes, she was convenient to practice on just after I’d decided I would walk to the grocery store along a path I’ve walked and photographed before (Misty Morning Walk, Walk to the Grocery Store). I had to re-orient myself to all the settings and discovered my light meter wasn’t working. That wasn’t stopping me, even though I was sure I’d get muddy dark or gray overexposed photos by just guessing, and I was thoroughly surprised when I saw the images. They are unfortunately grainy, even though I set my shutter speed as low as 1/15, and never higher than 60, just by guesswork, but the day was just that dark. I mailed it off to be processed, and these are the results.
Below is a gallery of all 25 photos (on a 24-exposure roll) in the order I took them. There are a few of my cats in the house, some wildflowers along a street and the train tracks through town which I photographed twice for some reason, twining grapevines that look like barbed wire and cast industrial objects that look like robots, a burn barrel by an abandoned railroad bridge that looks like it was taken about a century ago. An older man walks along the sidewalk and a wooden trap door is closed tightly high up on the second floor of an industrial building, and then a metal rose bush and a close up of one flower, sort of melding the industrial and the organic. A hidden gate high up on a hill above the creek that would be very dangerous to walk through that I’ve never seen before though I’ve been walking this way off and on since I was a child. Then a pile of wood next to a building that made me wonder, until I saw the cat, an ear-tipped feral cat in a managed colony who I see pretty regularly, followed by some fearsome prickly-pear cactus that I also photographed in color over a decade ago, someone’s front porch that looked cozy and intimate, and the rest of the feral cats in that little colony, including a new one.
If you see any photos you’d like as a print, please send an email to bernadette at bernadette-k dot com. Enjoy!
I am so accustomed to sharing my finds as soon as I get home and even plan my posts as I walk. Remembering that I had to send this little roll of film off to be processed before I saw my photos, even in my little view screen, was very disorienting, and I kept laughing at myself. I actually learned to take photos this way!
Some of the notes I took as I used this fully manual camera:
How do I install film?!
Where do I set film speed?
Oh, I have to focus.
The light meter isn’t working. Now I remember that. Have to take my best guess, in this light f1.8 and start with 1/60.
Oops! Make it your best shot, no taking two just to be sure! Can’t look at view screen and delete!
Remember to advance the film.
I can’t believe I can’t download these and review them when I get home.. . . . . . .
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All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, visit my galleries of Photography on Portraits of Animals to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “Custom Prints” for availability and terms. I'll be more than happy to make a print for you.