Film Stories: A Day At The Lake

One of my favorite hobbies is film photography. I enjoy shooting it, developing it on my own, and printing it. Access to a darkroom at the Dallas Makerspace really helps feed my hobby and keep it active. Honestly I’d create a darkroom out of the bathroom for as long as they made chemicals that could develop film. And with new experiments and advances in environmentally safe developing I think film will run out before I ever reach a point I can’t develop.

I try to do my own color now that I’ve learned the process, but sometimes impatience wins out and I resort to having the lab do it. In this day of digital everything I am finding it harder and harder to locate labs that still process film. CVS is slowly shutting down their machines, Walmart and Walgreen’s are slowly phasing it out as well, turning entire labs into digital printing studios instead. Local to me are two labs that still process all kinds of film, whereas the formerly mentioned establishments only process 35mm C-41, but their prices would burn holes in your wallet. I only use those labs for specialty film that I can’t get developed anywhere else or do myself.

I wish that Lomography was a bigger thing here in the States. (For those that don’t know what lomography is check out The movement for that ‘lomo’ feel is much stronger in Europe and Asia. But I try and keep it alive by buying their products and shooting their film. I recently got Michelle involved in the Lomography movement and she has run with it in ways I couldn’t have imagined. She’s experimented a lot with Infared film and gotten some really exciting results. You can check out her Lomo Home: ladybugofbluness.

I’ve been away from film for a few months now in an attempt to get this blog up and rolling. DIY is so much easier to document when digital is in the picture. (Haha!) But I’ve felt it calling to me and on a particularly restless day a couple weeks ago I grabbed up my Canon AL-1, Spinner 360 and headed out to the lake for some photo fun and sketching.

I love Fuji Superia film. I always get really beautiful color saturation when I use this film. The last couple rolls I’ve shot were lacking luster as confidence in my abilities wavered  but they came back strong this roll and I was so pleased with all my photographs.

Let me introduce you to the Spinner 360. This marvelous camera takes panoramic photographs up to 360 degrees, even over the film sprockets. This is hands down one of my favorite cameras. Lately it has not been working properly and I thought I had found the solution but sadly the camera is still messing up so I’ve already put the word in my hubby’s ear that I want a new one for Christmas. I seriously love this camera and it’s amazing effects. You can buy it on Lomography’s site for less than 150 dollars.

All across the sandstone at Lake Grapevine you can find places where people have carved their initials, or images, sometimes even little sayings. It’s like the Sweetheart Tree en masse. I suppose the ease with which you can carve something into the stone in that area makes it a prime location for people to leave their mark. Some of the stuff is simply asinine, but some is really sweet and cute.

It feels really good on the soul to step outside every once and while. I miss living closer to the lake and the ability to drive there every day. It has always been a tranquil and memory filled place to me and some days I need the peace to wash over me like the waves that break against the shoreline. Some days I need a sunny picnic on the burnt orange sandstone while I listen to birds, boats, and waves as they cut through the silence. Do you have a favorite place you like to escape to? What about it makes you feel peaceful?


  1. Michelle says:

    We should go there the next time I come visit! 🙂 Who knows when I’ll get to again, after all?

    I’m glad you got me into film!! 😀 I didn’t expect for it to have the impact it has on me, but here it is! Thank you for that!

    I love these pictures!! 🙂 They’re so pretty and crisp!

    • Nicole says:

      Yeah! Going to the lake always yields great photographs! Plus we should enjoy it while it is still free to get in. Grapevine lake is so changed from when I used to go there in high school.

      Thanks! I was REALLY pleased with how these came out!