Change Film, Meet People or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Pause

Update: I’m feeling very honored that the Eric Kim Street Photography Blog reposted these findings – if you don’t know his blog be sure to check it out.

Resurrecting my old east german medium format camera is a great experience so far. Coming from a rangefinder where you don’t look through the lens, hence have no visible indication of the depth of field, the first astonishing difference was to see this huge 6 by 6 centimeter view through the open aperture lens. This is a problem since everything looks gorgeous with that massive three dimensional pop and you could snap pretty much everything you frame right away ;-).


After having burned twelve frames to kodak-moment-immortality, you have to take a break and put in a new roll of film. And you really have to take a break since you can’t do this walking or standing. At least I can’t, and even if I could I’d sit down anyways, I’ll tell you why in a sec.


I’m currently pretty fascinated by Hamburg’s famous Sternbrücke, a pittoresque old school elevated railway bridge running over a crossing in my neighborhood. One of the local shop owners seemed to have gotten aware of me lingering around at this intersection of traffic, people, light and shadow. I couldn’t tell if he liked the idea of me taking pictures in front of his shop circling the crossing. I just went by and didn’t respond to his looks. After another round around the four corners framing the crossing, I realized the dozen was completed again. I was at the before mentioned merchant’s shop again that moment so I just sat down on the front porch, removing the used roll of film and preparing a new one. The shop owner sat down next to me, asking questions about that strange camera and even stranger film I’m fiddling around with. Then we had a little photo session inside the shop. The unhandy process of changing the medium format film actually turned out to be a great conversation starter!


As much as I enjoy taking the pictures with this sturdy camera, the little I like developing the film. I brought the first roll of Tri-X to life myself & realized that I can argument that it’s cool to get 72 frames developed in one session for small format film. But I have to confess that going through all of this for 12 frames and not having the opportunity to develop a print or scan them is too much for me. I just returned from a local photo shop, dropped of some rolls and an unexpected high amount of money in exchange for developing and scanning and can’t wait to see the results tomorrow evening. If you’re interested and there are some keepers amongst the framed moments I’m happy to share them with you.


I just fetched the layout prints – still emotionally connected to the moment capturing the scene I can’t tell if there are any keepers yet. Still I want to share this portrait with you so you can see one of the photographs that are a result of the pause I was forced to make by changing film:

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