Christmas came early this week! We have 35mm photos!
A little history
I recently found our 35mm camera with film still in it. I had to know what was on it, but the process of getting the camera workable and then getting the prints in my hand was somewhat involved.
First, there was the matter of the dead battery. I knew film was in the camera, but this particular model is self-winding so a battery was necessary to eject the film. Naturally, the battery wasn't readily available. Online shopping to the rescue.
After a few days of waiting, the battery arrived. I popped it in and the camera started right up.
Prior to sending off the film to a lab (which required another online search), I did a few test shots to see if it still worked.
Then, it took another online search to recall how to self-wind the film short of the total exposures. (This camera self-winds but only when you shoot the entire roll.)
Finally, I shipped the film off to a lab for printing.
Honestly, I had put the film development in the back of my mind. I had no idea how long it would take to get the prints back. On my Tuesday visit to the post office, however, I was presented with "the envelope" from the lab. I was so excited, I couldn't wait the 2 minutes it takes to get home to open it. Special thanks to Gina for lending me a scissors and ending the suspense.
The first thing I found inside was the contact sheet containing the image thumbnails. Then, there were the plastic sleeves of negatives. I'd forgotten how much I missed this part, the familiarity of it all. I couldn't wait to tear into the images, yellowed with time, to see if I could place a date on when they were taken. It was actually pretty easy to figure out.
Several family images punctuate the roll of film, but upon initial glance, it was hard to pinpoint the timeframe. It was the fourth photo that actually gave it away. Though we can't pin down the occasion, I am definitely pregnant with the twins in this photo. It's 2005.
When I first pulled out this photo, I didn't think much about it. It's simply a family photo. The longer I look at it, however, the more our life timeline falls into place. The year before had been filled with loss - a miscarriage, failed in vitro attempts under our belt, and the loss of three grandparents.
And then, in November 2015, a family of two became a family of four.
The film may have yellowed in the camera, but this image is crystal clear in my mind, and so is...
I can't explain the challenge and joy I had making images on 35mm film last week. There's a completely different thought process that goes into taking photos when you know each image costs you money to develop and you don't have an LED screen to check your work. Today, the 35mm camera is officially joining the lineup with the digital cameras. Let the search for film begin. What goes around comes around.