My love letter to film cameras as a solution to smartphone addiction at parties had me looking for some old film photos. Do we enjoy the idea of film more than the reality? I found a set of photos from a vacation to Las Vegas in April 2001. It’s clear that whatever photographic technique I’d developed years before had gone fallow. At the time I was shooting with an Olympus Stylus Epic, probably on Kodak 400 or 800 speed print film. This is a subset of about 50 photos I’d scanned from negative five or six years ago. I don’t know how selective I was in my film scanning, but I’m a digital hoarder, so I probably didn’t cut too many.
The camera didn’t suffer light leaks, but I’m ashamed to find I shot so many from within the car. Reflections abound, some even look like the light leaks I sometimes manipulate into my photos today. I also struggled to level my horizons. The camera did suffer from some drive problems, however, causing some of the frames overlap slightly. My scanning was inconsistent and cropped the frame in some cases and left it in others. I’d like to think the scratches showed up during development, rather than during my scanning, but I don’t know for sure. The grain is big and bold, and worse than I suffer with my DSLR now, and I love it.
All of that, however, contributes to a gritty, somewhat dystopic portrait of Las Vegas and its surroundings that is quite enjoyable today.