I finally developed a few rolls of film from the vintage Canon film camera I bought at a yard sale in L.A. ($20 w/lenses and lots of film!) I don’t know why it took me so long, okay, I think it was one part laziness, two parts brokeness and a good old fashioned dollop of procrastination–the normal reasons for my not doing something.  I had read in Jonathan Canlas book ‘Film is not dead’ to develop your first rolls of film at Walgreen’s until you get the hang of it.  I ordered CD’s not prints it was $7/each roll but I also had $5 coupons (score) they came with miniature contact sheets and real negatives! Here’s some things I learned– 1) Ask the photo person to allow you to write the type of film you used on the envelope. I had a few rolls of film, all different (they came with my yard sale purchase). I say to do this so if you loved the results of one of the films you developed you can remember what you shot with and use that type of film again.  I liked a lot of the results and have no clue what I used. 2)  Request that they can scan at a higher resolution and larger size.  All my photos were scanned for 3″ x 5″ prints which is not great.  These images above are pretty much straight out of camera. I took them into Photoshop so I could view them larger and a lot of them had a line across them which I am assuming was where the Walgreen’s machine had scratched my negatives–gasp.  Good thing these were test shots and good thing Photoshop has a clone tool to remove rouge scratches. I am really thrilled with the images, they have an authentic nostalgic feel to them with a ton of grainy goodness. I can not believe how many had good exposure. I almost always either over or under expose (even with a proper exposure reading) with my digital camera.  I will pipe up next week about how to expose for film (it’s easier than you might think).  
I need to run, that handsome fella in the photo above is having a birthday tomorrow and I am trying to figure out a good, not too expensive gift for him.  We are going on a canoe ride in the morning which should be both thrilling and terrifying.  I have never been on a lake before, let alone in a canoe! Have a great weekend and thank you to everyone that has been playing along with my contest I am so excited to start ordering the live samples.

P.S. These photos are from our backyard! 


  1. So gorgeous. I need to go and develop my film….thanks for the reminders and the tip!

    And Happy Birthday Mister!! Enjoy canoeing. I think the move from LA has totally agreed with you!

  2. I just received my dad’s old (soviet!) camera from when he was a teenager. It’s definitely a magical experience! After thinking over it a while, I also ordered Jonathan’s book; I think it’ll be very helpful. So far I’ve just been taking my film to be developed at Walmart and CVS (the closest Walgreens is 30 minutes away) and I haven’t exactly been completely satisfied with the results, so I think I might try developing it on my own next time. I’m looking forward to your next post!

  3. I’m catching up on your blog, and these pictures are beautiful. Call me crazy but there is something about film that can’t be replicated-ever! No matter the Lightroom or photoshop actions. I love these so much that I think I’ll actually not be lazy and get my film-based Canon out! Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. Masha I think if you can learn to develop your own film you will be over the moon! I used to do it in school and I am really trying to figure out the best place to do it here (my studio had carpet, urgh!) Jonathan’s book is very easy to comprehend, but it will make you camera envious! Let me know if you do!

    Kamela, I have to agree with you I could never replicate this or I could try and it would look fake or take me 12 hours. This was shoot and crop, upload. I am all about easy!

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