TwelveSmallSquares

The film photography & darkroom work of David Kirby

The Last Shot

  I seriously don't know how people can shoot 35mm film.  Not the format, that doesn't bother me - it's the fact that you've got to shoot either 24 or 36 frames!  I honestly can't go out and shoot that many frames!  I shoot mainly 6x6 which means i get 12 shots to play with.  Even so, i still often find myself shooting randomly just to finish up the last shot or two on the roll so i can go home and develop the film straight away.  I'm not the kind of person who can spread a roll of film out over a week or so, it preys on my mind and i picture all manner of light leaking through my camera onto my film.

  That being said, when it comes to taking holiday snaps 35mm is the way!  Jess and I recently went to Greenman festival in Wales as we do every August, and this year we took along our Yashica FR-1 and some rolls of Provia 100F.  We went a bit trigger happy but still only shot 3/4 of a roll (the curse of also having cameras on phones).

  The next weekend, however, we were off to Maryport in the Lake District to visit some friends of ours.  We took the Yashica along, of course, in anticipation of good times.  Good times were had, but mostly indoors in the dim light - not suitable for 100iso.

  Our friends have horses though.  Really nice horses.  I'm not really a horse fan but these horses are lovely.  I decided to finish off the last few frames on the roll taking photos of the horses because the light was nice and soft and one horse in particular had a lovely grey coat.

  The weekend ended (as it always does alas) and we headed home.  I posted the film off the next day (i don't yet develop my own E6) and then counted the days until it would come back to me in the post.  Back it came and i'm sat at my computer flicking through my holiday shots.  To my surprise the most stand out picture on the whole roll is one of the horse ones:


  I know it wont be everyone's cup of tea and it's not going to win any awards, but I like it because it is nice and soft and just has lovely detail.  And here we get to the point of this blog post - sometimes the shot you take to finish off your roll is the best thing you'll shoot all day.  It has happened to me many times, just taking a quick snap to complete the film and then that picture turning out to be the one you spend your time printing and framing.  It's strange how you can spend ages metering, filtering and exposing one frame and getting a very bland result, yet use guesswork and quick focusing on another and get the best shot of the roll.

  But this is photography and this is what we do.  Never be afraid of the final few frames on your roll, and never underestimate the power of a quick snap!