Shooting Manual with 35mm Film

Marlborough Sounds, NZ

My father-in-law, Ross Pattern, has recently lent me his old 35mm Film Camera, a Cosina CT1G. The camera is currently matched with a Pentax 50mm 1.7 lens. The camera is in almost pristine condition, apart from a crack along the prism housing, which has been expertly glued together. The mechanics and light meter all work fine. To be honest, there are few reasons why it should not work as it is fully manual. There is really very little to go wrong with the beast, and the only electrical part is the light meter. There is a good reason my father-in-law purchased a fully manual camera, the Cosina was to accompany him on a trip to Antartica, where it was used for slide photography (and produced some wonderful images).

Bookshop, Blenheim

The Experience

Firstly, let me talk about the cost of using film. The roll of Fujifilm (200ISO) cost me $12, and the processing $17. I am happy with 6 of the 36 images I captured. This hit rate will improve, as I have learned some of the cameras limitations. However, using film is expensive. My current thinking is that I will stick to shooting landscapes, letterboxes, and family when using this camera. Alternatively, I may need to learn how to develop my own film.

Both the focus and the settings are manual, and remember, you lose the option of changing the ISO when using film! Capturing the ‘decisive moment’ eluded me, and most of the time a practised with my ever-patient family. On the street, I mainly focused on Still Life images.

I’m getting a ‘thing’ for letterboxes!

The Look

This is why film is fantastic. It looks great, even the bad shots have some character.

What Next

I have been inundated with questions on whether Pagespics is to turn it’s back on digital and go fully analogue. Let me put this dog to rest and say that I remain committed to digital, but that the two formats can co-exist in harmony. Digital is likely to remain a favourite for Street, Documentary and Commercial work as it is so much cheaper. Film will remain a quiet sideline passion.

Me! (Photo credit: Taeko Page)

The Cosina CT1G. The Specs…

This bit bores most people, so feel free to google something else. However, it you do want to know about this camera then…

  • Fully manual (apart from a light meter)
  • Fastest Shutter speed 1/1000 sec
  • Made in Japan (1980’s)
  • K Mount (you can attach any Pentax lens)
  • Plastic build, though quite robust
  • Dirt cheap – I’ve seen them going for as little as $20.

That all Folks!

But before I go, a little of what else has been going on. My website is still being revamped – but just like the UK, parts of it are opening up. Just like NZ, this site is Covid free so go wild and explore. I will be making business cards up this week in a further attempt to drum up some more professional work. Over at the Street Photographers Community (SPC), I have published an interview with the very talented Angelo Gifford, who is a master of shape and light. The interview can be viewed here. If you love Street Photography, we would love you to join our community @ Last week I reported that I had been in a slump – all I can say is that I am working on it! Don’t forget. you can support pagespics through the ‘buy me a coffee’ app, which I have linked to at the end of this page.

Take care and keep clicking, Chris

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If you enjoy following this blog, feel free to buy me a coffee! Support is appreciated.

Site Update, more gear, and another poem

As Covid 19 restrictions start to lift, we are hopefully getting back to some Street Photography! While my Sony is off being repaired I am going to be shooting with my trusty Olympus Em5ii AND a new camera…. sort of. I have been loaned a manual Cosina CT1G, which means I am going to be playing with film again. The camera is matched with a 50mm 1:7 Pentax prime lens, a favourite focal length of mine. Apparently this lens works best around f4, so we will see how it goes!

This week I have been dipping into the Annie Leibovitz ‘Teaches Photography’ course. I’m going to look at two salient issues discussed during this Masterclass. The first is the importance of photographing family and friends. Family tend to have more patience than strangers. They also get used to you and forget that you are there, providing the opportunity for a candid frame. As usual, I like to edit my family pics in black and white, just so they differ from my other work. Some of the most iconic photo projects have come from studies of family and friends, and here I am thinking of Sally Man’s ‘Immediate Family’ and Nan Golding’s, ‘The Ballad of Sexual Dependency’. Both great books that should hold a place on any photographers shelf.

Candid Family Shot – Taken during quarantine.
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5 Pieces of Street Photography Advice You Should Ignore.

Street Photographers are not known for their reserve. We are happy to give advice on gear, framing and technique. But I believe the best photographers are those who also seek advice and look to learn from others. But not all advice is equal, and some ideas are outdated, narrow minded, or just plan wrong. In this article I am going to go question some of the advice that has almost become folklore in Street Photography, and pose the question, is it time to move on?

Colour or Black and White?
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Angalamman Festival

A Festival of Pain

The Angalamman Festival is held Kaveripattinam, a smalll town in Tamil Nadu. On the day after Maha Shivratri, the festival sees tens of thousands of people from the town converge to worship the deity Angalamman. Obviously, this was not a festival to be missed, and I knew from the start it would be a special event to photograph. Shiva had one night to sleep, and things were going to get wild when he awoke.

Extreme body piercings are one way to offer pain sacrifices.
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Portrait Competition

This month LensCulture is running a portrait photography competition. There are only a few ‘pay to play’ photo competitions I will participate in, but LensCulture is one of the best. At $35 for 5 photo entries, I thought it would be worth delving into the archives and selecting my strongest images. For a photo to be a winner, it really needs to be a little quirky and have that something extra. Today I am going to share the images I shall be entering, and discuss a little of the back story behind each photograph.

The Cobbler

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Three New Years Resolutions…

… you may wish to ignore

The booze has worn off and it’s back to work. At this time of year we start thinking about improving our lives and our photography. Once again I find myself promising to eat less and exercise more. But what photography resolutions are there to be made? There is a plethora of advise available on what to do in 2020, but I remain sceptical on some of the ideas published.

I have added three photos to this post, all taken during my last photo walk of 2019.

When life gives you lemons, sell lemons.
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My Favourite Street Photo’s of 2019

Without further ado and very few words, here are my favourite Street Photos of 2019…

Captured in a fishing village (Mumbai).
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Photographic Marinade

Incase you have not noticed, Christmas is approaching fast. This is the time of year when it is good to take a look at the photos captured over the previous 12 months. This task involves deleting an awful lot of rubbish, but also helps uncover a few forgotten, or overlooked gems. This year’s annual cull started over the weekend and I found a batch of photos that had not been published. The images accompanying this article were all captured around the Bangla Road area of Phuket, and yes, I had forgotten about them!

Bangla Road, Phuket
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KR Market Re Visited

KR Market in Bangalore remains one of my favourite local photography locations. At first glance, the market appears an area of complete chaos. However, scratch under the surface and there is a structure that supports multiple industries, individuals and businesses. Many of my photographs are headshots, but recently I have been working on creating images that tell a bigger picture.

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10 Tips for Better Travel Photography. Part 2

Firstly, thanks to Brenda for pointing out that for most of these tips, you do not really have to travel far. This brings me to my first discussion point…

Long Distance Travel not required!

Bangalore City Market – 30 Minutes travelling time from home
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