Several weeks ago, three of us were able to get together for a film photowalk in Austin, TX. These sorts of things are often discussed but rarely take place; however, on this occasion we had the special treat of a fellow FSC member in town for a visit, and everything came together just right! Here are some of our favorite photographs from that day.
I'm so happy that Amy wanted to organize an FSC walk in Austin when I told her that I would be in town. For the few days leading up to our event, I had been bumming around downtown while my husband attended SXSW. While the people-watching was fun in the city, the monotony of modern business buildings had me itching for new scenery. I felt inspired by the energy of South Congress: the neighborhood that Amy selected for our walk. The first thing I saw upon exiting my Lyft was an outdoor artist market, and knew I was amongst my kind.
We met up at Jo's Coffee stand, which itself was visually unique. That Saturday was particularly perfect weather: people were out in droves. I'm normally very shy about photographing people, but it becomes much easier in large public crowds. Chris, Amy, and I slowly made our way down the street past the colorful boutique shops and restaurants with outdoor patios. I was drawn to all of the Texas iconography: cactuses, cowboy boots, and long-horn skulls. However, I announced, my photograph of a scooter in front of Willie Nelson truly summarized my SXSW experience of Austin.
I packed my three easiest “point and shoot” cameras for the trip: a classic Holga, a Plastic Filmtastic Debonair, and a Yashica T4 Super. I like variety, so I loaded the Holga with Ilford FP4, the Debonair with Lomography 800 (the faster the better with plastic cameras), and the T4 with Psychedelic Blues #4. I was using the T4 for a lot of my downtown snaps, so I mainly focused on the first two cameras for this walk. I love alternating between double-exposures and singles. Some subjects beg to be layered, while others you don't want to lose in the details.
South Congress Photowalk with the Nikon L35AF
I’ve been making photographs for a long time and part of the fun, especially when shooting film, has always been trying out different cameras. I have my favorites, of course (the Leica M6 and Nikon FM2n chief among them), but this time around I was toting a pair of Nikon L35AF point-and-shoots I had picked up on eBay for about 20 bucks each. One was loaded with Tri-X and the other Fuji Superia. Each was rated at box speed (ISO 400 in both cases).
I don’t typically use a point-and-shoot because I like having total control over exposure and focus, and I had never used the Nikon L35AF before at all, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’d read a few reviews and knew the camera had worked well for other photographers, so I was pretty sure I’d be able to make some acceptable photographs with them.
Turns out, I was correct. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy the Nikon L35AF was to shoot with. It pretty much nailed exposure and focus on every frame, even in some difficult high-contrast situations, and the images scanned well, requiring very little to no adjustment in Lightroom.
All in all, I had a very good experience with these cameras and plan on using one again very soon. In fact, I may just keep one in my bag all the time, just in case.
I was lucky enough to get to photowalk with Katie two days in a row, so I’ve included a photograph from the day before in East Austin as well (it’s the first one). I had my Hasselblad 500 c/m and Nikon F with me, both loaded with Tri-X.