Posted in UNCATEGORIZED by Nicole Gelinas on June 27, 2012

I hardly ever spend tons of money on cameras. Most of the time my cameras come from thrift stores, second hand stores, and yard sales. These are all really good places to find nice working cameras for usually $10 or less. For these three cameras (Smena 8M, Fed 5B, and Lubitel 166B) I made an exception and went over my $10 limit, but I think it will be well worth it. The Smena 8M is made out of plastic and takes 35mm film, but the coating on the lens is supposed to give the film some really interesting color shifts, so I have read. The Fed 5B is a 35mm rangefinder camera that is really heavy duty and has an Industar lens which is supposed to be close in comparison to a Leica camera, but with a much better price tag! The Lubitel 166B is a medium format camera, 120 film, twin lens reflex camera. I am really excited to shoot with these three cameras!!! Anyone else out there shooting with Russian cameras?



Posted in TIPS & TRICKS, TOY CAMERAS by Nicole Gelinas on June 6, 2012

I have decided that I am not going to have a film photography blog and not pretend like I don’t have a digital camera, because I do and I LOVE to use it just as much as a film camera! Just know that equipment alone does not make a good photographer. Phototgraphy is an art and the shooter is the artist. You need to have a vision, or an idea of what you want to make your image look like. It should be a thoughtful process in your mind. Part of that process is deciding which tools you are going to use and making good choices based on your vision. Just like an artist who chooses which medium to use, which brushes to paint with, and how to apply the paint to the canvas, your choices about photo equipment are directly related. Choose your camera with your end result (vision) in mind. If you want a very sharp, exact photo of what you are looking at then digital is a good choice. If you want to be more free and allow for happy accidents and interesting shifts then a toy camera would be the better choice.

Both images are SOOC (straight out of camera) with no adjustments.


Shot with a toy camera using expired color film, has soft focus, and color shifts

Expect the unexpected when using toy cameras. You never know what to expect, so don’t try to guess. Half of the fun of toy cameras is being surprised by the results you get!

The film photo gives more of an emotional connection with the place. It seems more like a storybook place instead of an actual place.


Shot with Canon Rebel XTi, has sharp focus, bright vivid colors, extra detail in bright and shadow areas.

You know exactly what you will get by looking at the display on the back of your camera.

You get a very accurate depiction of what you are seeing in the real world.

I am not saying that you cannot be artistic with a digital camera because you really can, but I just want to show the difference in feeling between the two images. To me the analog image just brings so much more emotion and begins to tell a story without too much effort as opposed to the digital photo which is very exact, and while beautiful and exposures are “correct” and all that jargon, on its own seems to look like just another photo of another place. Does anyone else see this?

For these reasons I try to choose my camera wisely before I go out shooting, at least if I know what I am going to be shooting! I try to imagine what I want the photos to look like and then match my vision with the camera that will get the job done. Make sense?

Know the role of your camera (what it will produce and its functionality), what you want to capture and how you want to capture it, and finally how you want the end result to look. These decisions beforehand will lead to better photos in the end and make you a happy photographer!


Posted in 35MM CAMERAS, TOY CAMERAS by Nicole Gelinas on April 26, 2012

Okay, these are the last four images from my trip to the Bloedel Reserve! Spring has just begun and you can start to see all of the little blossoms on the trees and the grass getting greener and greener by the minute! Also there were a bunch of geese just hanging out below the trees on the fourth photo. I will definitely be returning to the reserve to take more photos during summer and will be taking a different camera to test out. There are so many different places to walk and see that I will have no problem finding something new to photograph.

For this shoot I used the Akira 2000N loaded with Kodak Max, ISO400, Kodacolor print film (35mm) that expired on August of 2001. I am really loving the washed out effect from the expired film on the top two images. It sort of gives them a milky appearance that is really unusual and helps to create a look of visual depth. I will admit that I had to crop the first two images because the viewfinder on this camera is whack. To see an example of the issues I had with the viewfinder on the Akira 2000N see this post. If you are interested in seeing more photos taken at the Bloedel Reserve using the Akira 2000N visit my two other posts Lurking in the Shadows and Foliage by the Pond.


Posted in 35MM CAMERAS, TOY CAMERAS by Nicole Gelinas on April 23, 2012

I often find myself very attracted to shadows created by trees. The way that the light spots in the deep shade is just really beautiful to me. I also love when a shadow from a tree juts across the landscape and really creates interest and depth in the photo. I feel that these images really capture the spirit of the Northwest as you often find yourself enclosed in the shadows of the foliage.

For these shots I used the Akira 2000N loaded with Kodak Max, ISO400, Kodacolor print film (35mm) that expired on August of 2001. I was very delighted to see that there actually was quite a bit of detail in the shadow areas of the photos! To see a few more photos and learn more about the specs of this camera please visit my other post The Foliage by the Pond.


Posted in 35MM CAMERAS, TOY CAMERAS by Nicole Gelinas on April 18, 2012

These are a few of the photos taken with the Akira 2000N plastic camera. Using this camera is really easy because it is literally point and shoot once you choose the aperture you need according to the weather you are shooting in. There is no focusing on this camera and due to its plastic lens, the photos come out with a very soft focus. Very dreamy and creamy is the way I like to describe it where there are no harsh edges and everything sort of looks like a well rendered pastel drawing! This is an effect that a digital camera just cannot create! Most of these were shot at an f16 or f11. If you would like to learn more about shooting with the Akira 2000N, please visit my previous post for some more info and helpful hints.

For this shoot I used a roll of film that I found at a thrift store for $0.50. It was in its original box, but who knows what kind of life it had before I purchased it! It was a roll of Kodak Max, ISO400, Kodacolor print film (35mm) that expired on August of 2001. It produced really wonderful blue and green colors!

These photos were all taken at the Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island, WA. It is really an amazing place to go and walk around and take some really great photos!

Something I noticed when shooting into the sunlight (see fourth image above) it that it creates a blue hazy/ghosting effect that you can see along the top of the tree where the sunlight was shining through. I don’t know for a fact that this was the cameras doing, but it could have also been an effect of using expired film.