FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
I get quite a few questions about different things so I've shared some answers here - just in case you were wondering...
Q: Why do you use film?
Q: How do you develop and scan your films?
A: Because I love the results and I think that they best reflect me and how I see the world.
A: I used to take my films to a local shop called Max Speilmann and ask them to be scanned onto a disc. However since buying my own film scanner in 2015, I now only ask them for negatives only and I scan my films myself (eep). Scanning black and white films is a doddle but colour film is a bit more challenging, so if you scan colour film yourself too using an Epson scanner and you're struggling, I highly recommend this article by Colton Allen on scanning colour film.
Update: I’ve recently been sending my B&W and E6 film to The Latent Image for developing before scanning the negatives myself. I definitely recommend them.
Q: What is your favourite camera / film?
Q: Do you have any advice for using film?
A: Ohhhh! I always cringe a little when I get asked this as I never want to decide - or worse - I can't decide. So here are my favourite two of each.
Cameras: My refurbished LC-A from Lomography - I lusted after an LC-A for a long time and I've used it so steadily ever since and my Dad's OM-10 camera - sentimental and an awesome camera - I love it so.
Film: Kodak Ektar 100 - Oh gosh do I love the colours from this film, it's just beautiful and in my opinion, the perfect summer film. (Dear Kodak, please never stop making this film like you did with the BW400CN. Pretty please? Thanks!!) I also have a huge soft soft for Kodak Portra 160 NC. I love the soft colours and tones.
A: Of course! Though I think this advice could easily be for digital photographers too.
Trust yourself. One thing that digital cameras do is give you second (third, fourth… chances) – you don’t need them and of course, you don’t have them with film. You only need one shot and you can do it and nail it. Often with digital the first photo you took (and then doubted) is usually the best anyway I’ve found and it’s the same with film.
Learn as much as you can and do whatever you want anyway. There are all kinds of rules for photography, film especially can be unforgiving. But photography is an art of expression, If we all took the same photos it would be boring. Learn as much as you can and experiment until you find what makes your heart skip.
Try not to compare yourself to others and always aim to please yourself – everyone is on a different journey and expresses themselves different – photography is subjective and not everyone will love your results – but as long as you do that’s all that matters.
Q: What is the best place to visit it Leeds?
A: Ohh I love this question! And I have a list for you because I love Leeds!
1. Leeds Art Gallery - Thomas and I love art galleries and Leeds has an amazing one - AND not only can you look around the galleries - you can browse the wonderful art and craft shop on the lower floor AND have tea, sandwiches and cake in the Victorian Tiled Hall cafe which is a stunning room made better by amazing food! (I recommend the coronation chicken ciabatta - and all the soups... we eat there a lot!). To make it even better... if you can believe that... the Henry Moore Institute gallery is right next door!
2. The Corn Exchange - when I first moved to Huddersfield and visited Leeds, the building that impressed and wowed me the most was the Corn Exchange - it doesn't look like that much from outside but once you step inside you'll definitely look twice. The Corn Exchange is also the home of West Yorkshire Cameras which I highly recommend a look around!
3. If you're feeling adventurous and want to venture outside of Leeds then Kirkstall Abbey is always worth a visit - its beautiful, free and near two amazing pubs. The cafe and shop are also great to look around and I highly recommend any of the cakes.
Q: What are some of your favourite blogs to read?
Q: What is your favourite distraction?
A: Luckily for you I've put together an awesome blogroll sharing my favourite blogs to read HERE - I used to have a huge blogroll so I'm really happy to be sharing a list of my favourites again.
A: I know, you're expecting me to say photography - but photography is a passion, something I love and do with the whole of myself. But that's not really a distraction is it? So what is it?! Well - my favourite distraction is crochet and knitting - if I need something to take my mind off life, something where I'm using my hands and my brain but I can also watch TV at the same time (so totally guilty of that) - then it has to be these. If I'm not thinking about blogging or taking photos, I'm thinking about crochet and knitting - in fact my Pinterest definitely reflects how obsessed with it I am.
I've also recently become interested in oracle cards too which I love looking at and learning about.
Q: How do you decide what to blog about?
A: Ohhh a tough question. I don't really decide until the day - and at the moment - the question is 'do I want to blog today?' rather than 'what shall I blog?'. I've always been dictated by how I feel when working on creative outlets - my final year at Uni probably would have been much better if I wasn't so stressed and worried - and my blog is a reflection of how I'm feeling as well. If I'm not blogging then it means I don't want to - and if I am, it means I'm excited to share something.
When I first started blogging I was much more care free - I blogged about books, films, clothes, a duck that thinks its a dog (which still makes me smile) - you name it. I slowly found my niche along the way and ultimately this blog became about my photos the day I developed my first photos from my holga camera.
Now my posts are usually the tough decision about which photos to share - I still have so many from 2014 &2015 that I haven't shared. But it can take me forever to decide between them on what to post - and if I don't like any that day, I don't share any.
Sometimes I write instead of sharing photos - but that's rare and I'm not as comfortable with that as perhaps I used to be - a lot of people write amazing blogs and everyday more and more pop into my radar. I'm much happier to sit back and let the blog world happen around me these days.
Q: Does your brain try to trick you into not writing by telling you that your topic isn't worth writing about, and how do you persuade yourself to write it anyway?
A: Yes it does. My brain tries to trick me every day ha. It tells me that it isn't worth writing about - and then even if it was - that I don't know enough to really talk about it anyway. Or worse that no one really cares what I think about it -so why bother.
However, that doesn't usually stop me writing posts, if I get the bug to write something it usually just comes out - its normally a post that has been slowly forming in my head over a while and then when I sit down to type - it just comes out. Writing isn't the problem for me - its having the guts, the confidence to then share that writing! I have written and deleted a lot of blog posts in the last 5 years. I actually think that's why I like blogging so much - you can't delete entries in a proper diary as easily ha.
One good example of fighting my self doubt and fear is my free ebook about blogging. I originally wrote it as a presentation - and when that didn't really happen - I massively doubted my place as someone to write about blogging. Yes I've been blogging for a while - but I don't have a massive blog - I don't actively grow my audience, work social media, promote my work or push myself to 'grow' my blog in anyway any more. Yet I've been here a lot longer than other blogs I've seen try to do this, get bored (after they've realised how hard it is ha) and disappear and I have a solid audience who are constantly supportive and amazing. So I'm definitely someone who could write about blogging and share that information (I even talked myself into it in the book.)
To persuade myself I had to keep reminding myself that I had the experience, the knowledge, hundreds of blog posts to back me up - I had pages of content that didn't suck and I had the means to share it - it was all there - all that was stopping me was me. In the end my two best friends encouraged me to share my book as a celebration - and I braved asking another person to be involved - this was mostly to trick my brain back haha, if someone else is involved then I had to share it with others - I can waste my time and efforts - but its not fair to waste someone else's just because I was scared and believing my brains trickery. Luckily all three people believed in me and the content and I'm so very glad they did.
As a result - my best tip for this type of brain trouble - is write anyway - don't publish it straight away - just write - get it ALL out. Then give it a few days - step back for a while. And if you still like it and believe what you've written when you come back to it (Maybe a day later, maybe a month... it doesn't matter. Good content is always good content and bad will still be bad ha) - and then hit that publish or delete button - whatever you decide - make the decision and then move onto the next post. There will always be more opportunities to share and more to write about - get it out, give your brain the space to grow and maybe eventually you'll be hitting the publish button more than the delete.
p.s. You have read my BOOK right? You should. It was an ordeal to get it onto here ha.