Reader Excerpts: Found and Lost

Today’s feature comes from Craig Peters.  Craig shows us a large format photography project that visually represents his feelings towards certain aspects of his life.  

Reader Excerpts allow those who read Now Developing to become part of the collective by sharing a written piece alongside their images on a topic of their choice.  If you have any ideas for a piece and would like to have it featured here, feel free to contact me!

Found and Lost, shot and written by Craig Peters (WebsiteInstagram)

The images Uncomfortable, Sadness, and Revelation are all about my reaction to having anxious feelings towards questioning my religious beliefs. The latter piece being the acceptance that it is alright to not be religious, as I experienced some anxiousness in questioning my beliefs. The symbols on the torso in that image are the Pax Cultura Freedom symbol, an important symbol in my own life regarding the freedom of the arts. The other three images are a physical manifestation of those feelings. They are the personification of my emotions depicted in the first three images.

So in the studio for the still lives, I would get the lights how I wanted and turn off all of the lights. In darkness, I would open up the 4×5 lens and pop the flash manually depending on how closed down I wanted the aperture to be.

For the three portraits, I used a rail 4×5 and lit it with modeling lights and synced the flash to the shutter on the 4×5 lens.

For Anxiety I wanted a self portrait with myself obscured. I took a piece of sheer black cloth and shook it in front of me with continuous LED lights for about ten seconds.


Reader Excerpts: Views from the Porcelain Throne

Today’s feature comes from Jack Allan. Jack showcases a point of view piece from no other place than the toilet.  The uniqueness is not only in the subject matter and where the series is shot, but the beauty lies in the limitations of the series, both in process and final production.

Reader Excerpts allow those who read Now Developing to become part of the collective by sharing a written piece alongside their images on a topic of their choice.  If you have any ideas for a piece and would like to have it featured here, feel free to contact me!

Views from the Porcelain Throne, shot and written by Jack Allan (Website)

The View From the Porcelain throne was a project that I think I had been musing about for quite a while before making the work. I’ve always loved the imprint that people leave, and interior design taste levels are something from this I feel there’s a large amount of people who make thoughtless choices.

On the flip side, there’s some very well considered spaces, but maybe they’re executed in a way that seems a little bit off. Take framed artwork for example. How is it framed? What have they chosen to be framed? How is it placed on the wall/shelf/other surface? This is what I looked for in toilet cubicles. Little details that make the space unique.

These cubicles are familiar to a very large portion of the world, and they’re a space that everybody is equipped to occupy and ultimately you’re forced to see from a set viewpoint. What I was looking for was a collection of these views, but with quite heavy limitations on what equipment I was to use.

I had just finished my university course in photography, and having spent the last 2.5 years photographing in quite a formal way (re shooting, showing progress in work, building a large body of work etc) and with a Rolleiflex, it just felt natural to grab a disposable camera for this project. What better than a camera with a basic set of features for a project about toilets.

Equipped with a viewfinder, film advance, flash, lens, film counter and what loaded with FujiFilm Superia 400, this little guy had 27 shots ready to go. The entire project was shot on this one camera as it gave me a crappy limitation on shots I could take, and the inability to edit the photos afterwards. Except this crappy camera only gave me 26 frames in total, limiting me a tiny bit more!

Working with a 35mm lens in these small spaces was entertaining, and even more so when the flash would go off, and another patron of the bathroom would make audible surprise noises. I quite enjoyed this little quirk amongst all of the strange spaces I found myself in.

There’s a green monstrosity of tile that was in a hotel of cool blues and grey tones everywhere but this toilet, a frowning frog in a frame watching you and a stall with what felt like a white stable door keeping you safe. These spaces became more and more entertaining as I pressed on!

The final result consists of 26 6×4 prints from Boots (a drugstore photo lab) which are limited to this run as another level of limitation for this project. This very sudden impulsive project is probably one of the favourite pieces of work I’ve made, and I think I’ll always have a soft spot for it!


Reader Excerpts: Guildford on an Olympus XA2

Today’s piece comes from Sikandar Rana. Sikandar shares a place that is close to his heart and how he has interacted with that place through creating images, both snapshots of daily life and deliberate, time-consuming photo creation.  As Sikandar takes us on his move from London to Guildford, we understand his appreciation for simplicity both in the city in which he resides as well as the simplicity in his Olympus XA2.

Reader Excerpts allow those who read Now Developing to become part of the collective by sharing a written piece alongside their images on a topic of their choice.  If you have any ideas for a piece and would like to have it featured here, feel free to contact me!

Guildford on an Olympus XA2, Written by Sikandar Rana (Instagram, Website)

The town of Guildford, in Surrey holds a very special place in my heart, in that it was the first time that I ventured outside my London home to live away from it for a significant period of time. This time spent living away from home was due to the commencement of my degree in Chemical Engineering at the University of Surrey. The jump from bustling London to a relatively quiet, serene town was quite a shock, but wore off after the first few months.

I stayed in Guildford for four 9 month periods, one for each year of my course, with the remaining three months of each year being spent back in London. Despite my initial fears, there seemed to be no shortage of things to both see and do around campus and the local area, from attractions such as Guildford Castle to the multitude of events organised by the friends I’ve come to know throughout my degree.

In addition to the places in and around campus that I deemed worthy to document, a few images in my collection also capture the first time that I had lived in rented private sector accommodation. This was the case during my fourth year, having lived in university accommodation during the three years prior.

I’ve been practising photography on and off for about 5 years now, but it wasn’t until the last two years of my degree that I began taking film photography seriously. What began as an attempt to document the antics of those friends of mine who I wouldn’t have seen as frequently once I’d completed my degree blossomed into so much more during those final two years of university.

Like many other advocates of film photography, I came for the visually pleasing output of most film stocks, and stayed for the way shooting film slows one down and makes their photography more deliberate.

I brought the Olympus XA2 that all of these images were taken on in my final year of university, with most of my prior photography being done using digital cameras. I wanted a small, compact way to shoot film day-to-day without sacrificing quality and the signature “look” that film is known for. I also have a Pentax ME Super, but that is usually used when I go out with the intention to take photos, and is much better suited to the slower, more deliberate types of photos that I shoot when I go out with this purpose in mind. Both cameras were bought from eBay, and have served me very well, being as reliable as can be.

I started shooting colour film initially, having being drawn to the pleasing examples of different film stocks posted all over the Internet. Due to the low cost of Fujifilm Superia 200 and Kodak Colorplus 200, those were the two main film stocks that this series of photos were taken on. I bought the rolls of film used for the series from a combination of Boots and London Camera Exchange outlets found in Guildford’s town centre.

London Camera Exchange in particular turned out to be a treasure trove of film and photographic equipment, and I’ll definitely be stopping by to pick up a few rolls next time I find myself in the area. The rolls of film were developed and scanned at the same Boots outlet that some of the rolls were bought from. Thank you ever so much for reading my insight of Guildford through the lens of my XA2, and happy shooting!

Reader Excerpts: Finding Inspiration in the Eerie and the Emotional


Today’s piece comes from my personal friend, Joy Celine Asto. Joy shows shares a piece of photographic work accompanied by a piece of written work that visualizes and originates from her interest in Greek literature and mythology.  A truly spectacular execution of photographic representation of feelings, thoughts, and storytelling.

Reader Excerpts allow those who read Now Developing to become part of the collective by sharing a written piece alongside their images on a topic of their choice.  If you have any ideas for a piece and would like to have it featured here, feel free to contact me!

Finding Inspiration in the Eerie and the Emotional, Written by Joy Celine Asto (Website)

In Greek Literature and Metamorphoses, Phobetor was the god of nightmares and one of Oneiroi, the sons of Nyx (the goddess of the night) and personifications of dreaming. Also known as Icelus, his brothers include Hypnos (Sleep), Morpheus (Dreams), Thanatos (Death), and Geras (Old Age). Traditionally, it’s Morpheus who specializes in appearing in human form. While Phobetor is an expert in appearing as various animals in dreams, he’s also in charge of nightmares and nighttime fears. Here, I imagine him “borrowing” Morpheus’ craft for a night, appearing less menacing but still unsettling.

This set is inspired by my love for Greek Mythology since childhood, and two nightmares that have made the most impact on me. One is about a floating white hand/glove that kept beckoning me out of my room, and was part of an interesting mix of a lucid dream and false awakening. The other was a faceless man who kept appearing in my recurring dreams; He would either be backlit so I couldn’t see his face, or I would wake up just as he would turn his face towards me. In these dreams, I was always supposed to meet him somewhere, and he was always the first to arrive in our meeting place.

Meanwhile, I met Paolo, my model for this shoot, a few months ago during a talk about literature and mental health. As one of the event’s speakers, he talked about his own battles with anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and suicide attempts (his most recent being in February this year). However, I found his creative and expressive side easy to see on the get-go. I interviewed him straight after the talk, and proposed the idea of a collaboration after learning that he did a lot of performance art.

Four months later, I finally had an idea for a portrait shoot with him, and he was thankfully game with it. He said his artistic tendencies and interests typically veer towards the dark, the strange, and the surreal, so he liked the idea. I already had the camera and film combination in mind: my trusty Nikon FE2 and Kodak Double-X (5222), which was a no-brainer after the nice, contrasty results I got with it in a previous portrait session.

The shoot itself was very collaborative indeed – I’d throw him an idea or a scenario and he would interpret it with a pose. The location was also his suggestion, and it was in a mostly secluded spot that allowed us to shoot in peace. I’m also glad that we had all the props that we were able to bring that day. They somehow helped us steer the visual narrative into something that is both eerie and emotional.



Reader Excerpts: Foreign Observer

Today’s feature comes from Daniel Rodriguez. Daniel tells a story from his perspective of a Mexican-American that most likely echoes true to many first-generation citizens.  His work as well as his written story make you understand what many people in America go through on a daily basis: floating in the in-between of identifying and understanding their cultural roots while also attempting to solidify their identity as an American citizen.  Daniel brings us on his (and his family’s) journey back to Mexico to document the town in which his father emigrated from to find his place in two different countries.

Reader Excerpts allow those who read Now Developing to become part of the collective by sharing a written piece alongside their images on a topic of their choice.  If you have any ideas for a piece and would like to have it featured here, feel free to contact me!

Foreign Observer, shot and written by Daniel Rodriguez (Website, Instagram)

Foreign Observer is a photo series that took me three years to complete and is centered on how I was able to reconnect with my cultural roots through photography. When my dad immigrated to the USA over thirty years ago the only sentence he could confidently deliver in English was “One Jumbo Jack and a Strawberry Shake, please.” A few years passed and he became fluent in English, met my mom, got married and, had 3 kids.

My mom was born here in the states, but was a child of immigrant parents and understood the hardships of life in Mexico. My parents wanted my siblings and I to have that same understanding as well as the knowledge of where we came from. Once my dad became a legal citizen in the 90’s, we would take trips down to Mexico as a family every other year. The trips consisted of lots of handshakes with family we had never met, fireworks, and a temporary suspension of my parents’ anti-junk food rules. These trips felt more like a vacation to me than an opportunity to connect with my culture but that all changed once I became a teenager.

I had dealt with an unusual amount of discrimination as a child and was often treated differently by American kids for being “too Mexican” while also be teased by Mexican kids for being “too American”. I never felt like I fit in anywhere and somehow felt like a foreigner in each land. I remember being 13 years old and walking around the streets of Calvillo, Aguascalientes with my dad wondering how different my life would be if I would have grown up here instead of California.

Would I have discovered my passion for art? Oh man, and what about my love for music? What does it really mean to be an American or a Mexican? I promised myself I would go back next year with my family and finally get a grip on where I fit in between these two cultures, but… the events of September 11, 2001 had happened and new international travel laws required passports cross the US/Mexico border.  It was going to take a lot of part-time summer job hours earn enough for a passport.

Pretty soon after that my attention shifted to learning photography, the San Diego Punk Rock/Hardcore scene and my turbulent teen years which bled in to my awkward twenties. Before I knew it, over 10 years passed without visiting Mexico.

I returned to Mexico in 2014 with my family in hopes of closing the chapter I started in December 2000 and photographing the experience. I knew I was going to bring my trusty Nikon N80 with my 35mm F2 lens and 28mm F2.8 lens but I couldn’t decide on what film stock to bring. After thinking things over, it seemed best to take a street photograph approach for this project and I convinced myself to use Kodak Portra instead Kodak Ektar (which is usually my preferred color film) in order to benefit from the faster film speed. I had never really shot with Portra and I was immediately dissatisfied with the results of that first trip back.

I wanted make up for my error in judgement and I ended up shooting almost 40 rolls of Ektar after my subsequent trips in 2015 and 2016. It took a couple months to hand develop, scan and edit all the images but it was such a relief to see my images with the punchy colors and contrast that Ektar is famous for. These shots are a direct result of me walking around aimlessly for hours on end and interacting with the city. I stick out like a sore thumb when I walk around and take pictures since it’s such in small town. Between the guava orchards, churches and bars, there isn’t much to do there.

My dad rented a car and took my Mom and I on a drive during one of our last days there. I spotted a corn field and asked him to stop so I can snap a few pictures. I hopped a fence and walked in to a cornfield to shoot the bundles of corn stalks piled together like giant yellow pyramids.

When I came back to the car, an old man was speaking to my dad and I instantly got nervous and thought he was mad at me for being on his property. I introduced myself as I approached him and he asked me which news channel I was shooting for as he shook my hand. I explained that I was not a reporter, but just a photographer from the U.S. and that I’m here to capture the city my dad immigrated from. He was surprised that someone had taken so much interest in this little city and he praised God for giving me the opportunity to document it.

He said to me, “Listen, son. I think it’s a beautiful thing you’re here capturing these landscapes and finding the beauty of this land. Never forget that you’re a part of this land and its yours as much as its mine, or your fathers. Your home exists on both sides of that border and you know why? Look over there… That’s my home. It may be small and it may be simple, but it’s also yours. You are welcome to it at any time. Whether its a glass of water or a bed to sleep in, it’s there if you need it.”

If you would like to purchase this project in print, Daniel is selling the work here.

Reader Excerpts: DAMN

Today’s piece comes from Joe Berisford. Joe takes us on his trip to Amsterdam, a city that reinvigorates his spirit for creating images in a more simplistic fashion, focusing on things as they are.  The buzzing European city live is a polar opposite to his small town vibe back in England, which seems to drive his image creation in finding that same small town feeling by freezing moments in time in a much, much bigger city.

Reader Excerpts allow those who read Now Developing to become part of the collective by sharing a written piece alongside their images on a topic of their choice.  If you have any ideas for a piece and would like to have it featured here, feel free to contact me!

DAMN, Written by Joe Berisford (Instagram)

After stocking up on a dozen or so rolls of film, I headed to Amsterdam. Being my second time, I wanted to capture the essence of the city and leave behind the typical tourist photography in England.

Feeling inspired and ready to shoot, I was hyped as I landed at Schiphol Airport. The style of photography I normally shoot is a very documentary style (coming from a film-making background), so I always try and capture stories within the pictures I take.  Luckily, Amsterdam kept serving this moments to me on a silver platter. The first thing I noticed was that the city was ripe and alive with characters dotted everywhere. People that standout from the crowds, people that’re unique and full of personality.  I felt like I had to take advantage of this.

In many instances, I took photos that essentially created themselves.  Whilst walking along the canal side, I was asked by a friend of mine how I take a picture and the thought process behind it. I simply replied: “It’s being in the right place at the right time”.

As I said that, a man proceeded to lean against the tree with his book standing next to a beautiful vintage American muscle car. I knew before developing the film that if my trusted Olympus XA1 had captured this moment, it was going to be one of my favourite shots from the roll.  It came out exactly how I saw it in the streets. I felt like after this moment, Amsterdam kept throwing more opportunistic moments for me to record, teasing me as I knew I’d have to wait to get them developed.

On the first day, I concentrated on the people of the city and tried to capture their thoughts and feelings into a photograph. Something I’ve always found interesting is taking pictures of crowds of people and getting certain individuals to stand out, and this is something I took advantage of being in one of the busiest cities in Europe.

After shooting exclusively black and white for nearly a year, I decided to take mostly colour film to Amsterdam this time around and I’m so glad I did. After purchasing a roll of Ektar 100 in one of the side street camera shops in Central Amsterdam, I was on the hunt for the colour red.

Being Amsterdam, everybody knows about the infamous “red lights”, but that wasn’t the only red I was looking for. People really dress to impress in Amsterdam, with a sense of style and swagger everywhere you turn.  Highlighting a single colour in a picture is something I’ve found so interesting to shoot. By highlighting the colour, you’re picking up on a single person in a crowd not for how they look, not their ethnic origin, but for the colour of something they’ve got with them, and it interests me to shoot this.

After encountering a man asleep on a bench with a bright red bag I had to keep shooting. I was mainly was overexposing Ektar and underexposing Portra.  It gave me some incredible results.  After shooting people in crowds, I also love shooting subjects that’re in a lot of negative space in an image, and Amsterdam is where I’ve yielded some of my favourite photographs of all time.

Pictures like the Alien in the Window and the Girl in the Pond are some of the shots that I’ll never forget taking. After walking through the central of Amsterdam after having a bite to eat, golden hour was in full flow allowing the light to take over. After noticing the little grey dude hanging out of the window, I honestly took the picture as a bit of a meme. Getting home and seeing how the photograph turned out really made me smile and it’s one of my personal favourites from the trip.

The girl In the Pond is the only photograph featured that’s from my first trip to Amsterdam, but for me, it’s a timeless picture. The fact that this girl was so elegantly dressed and was the only one in the biggest paddling pool in the heart of Amsterdam at the time I took this picture was truly a right place at the right time moment. I’ve been slightly obsessed with this picture for nearly two years but for me, it’s a wonderful image that I’m glad I good capture.

Getting the rolls back from this trip was truly amazing for me. After planning this holiday for so long, spending time with my best mates, and capturing some of the work that I’m most proud of was a successful few days. Amsterdam is somewhere full of opportunities for timeless photographs and it allowed me to shoot in a way in which you just can’t in a small town in England.

Hopefully I’ll be turning some of the images into some prints soon and potentially a zine further down the line which I’d love to do.  But until then, I’ll keep shooting x


Reader Excerpts: Forty Eight Hours in Tennessee

Today’s piece comes from Ryan Berger. Ryan tells us about his humble beginning in photography; fast forwarding through his digital cameras, our friendship that has been cemented through photography, and his new-found love for his Fuji GA645zi that breathes new life into his creative expression and hobby to record his daily life.

Reader Excerpts allow those who read Now Developing to become part of the collective by sharing a written piece alongside their images on a topic of their choice.  If you are working on a project, would like to display some of your work, explain your creative process, or have any other prospective ideas for a personal perspective piece and would like to have it featured here, feel free to contact me!

Forty Eight Hours in Tennessee, Written by Ryan Berger (Blog, Instagram)

Forty Eight Hours in Tennessee

I remember my grandmother’s love of disposable cameras. Growing up, every trip we went on, we packed a 10 pack of those cameras so my grandmother could snap away and gather the memories that defined our family vacations. I thought it was silly at the time, and always got a kick out of the developed images – 80% of them including her thumb in the corner of the frame. She’d always throw me a few, and I would take pictures and then always be excited to see how they turned out as we waited to get the developed film and prints back from Walgreens.

Looking back now, even as imperfect as those images are, they’re super meaningful and they make me remember things that I’d otherwise forget. It’s not that the photos are anything special (Sorry, Grandma, but those cameras are really terrible), but they’re real. Capturing the everyday moments that otherwise get filtered out by the constant fire-fighting we do in our lives. I never really thought about it until I sit down to write this up, but without a doubt, her style of photography, inspired me. A simple goal: to try and capture my life through a lens: my everyday life.

I remember asking my mom for a digital camera when I was 14. We were getting ready to move to a new town and I wanted a hobby other than video games. She got me a Canon PowerShot ELPH, a very simple digital point and shoot. Honestly, I think it was 3 megapixels. I loved that camera, it went everywhere with me and I took pictures of everything. This continued on until I got to the point where I felt like I wanted to pursue photography more seriously and move into shooting with a DSLR. For my 18th birthday, I ended up with a Nikon D40, and the kit. I met Dylan about 10 years ago, through our current admiration for edgy streetwear brands and photography alike. Still shooting with the D40, but using a 35mm prime lens. We both lived in the same town where it was hard to make friends, even harder to make ones that shared similar interests. We grew up together, taking photos. The cameras we shot with changed, but we always took pictures. I stuck with digital, moving to a full frame system to shoot some menswear-fashion work for a blog I was running at the time. As the commissioned work kept coming in, I got more and more tired and burnt out of taking photos for personal enjoyment.

After starting to feel myself lose interest in photography, I decided to switch back to a pocketable point and shoot, a Ricoh GR digital. This camera brought my heart back into photography, and made me want to go out and just walk around the city and take pictures of whatever caught my eye.

Me and Dylan got an idea to show some work at a coffee shop in our city, and it was a huge success. Everything I showed was from this tiny camera that was always in my pocket. I loved the idea of that. That I could make images that people enjoyed from a camera like the GR. It was simple. Just a 28mm 2.8 lens, no fancy glass or interchangeable lenses needed.

After three years of shooting with the Ricoh, and seeing my work alongside Dylan’s, I could always see the difference of medium format, the unexplainable depth that the photos had, compared to a digital sensor. Ever since Dylan had made the switch to just film, I was always inspired by the process and the end result as well. Finally, I showed an interest in trying out a film camera and after a pretty quick conversation, decided on a Fujifilm GA645zi. It was the perfect gateway from digital to film that fit my shooting style: a medium format camera, but still a simplistic enough for my personal shooting style.

Quickly going through a roll of film the day the camera arrived from across the pond from Japan, I was anxious to see the results. Without a doubt, I knew there would be a learning curve. No on-screen focus confirmation, no 7-shot burst on the same subject, and most importantly — no instant gratification. Just a quick look to see if my lens cap was off, and the hope that I focused on the right distance. It was weird not being able to get home, move over 30 photos, pick 10 of them, edit, and post them to Instagram right away. I liked that feeling though, I had to slow down and really think about the things I took pictures of and how I composed the shot. This camera made me be careful with photography, but in the best way. It’s quirky, and I’m still learning to embrace those quirks, but I’m stoked.

Getting back that first roll, despite forgetting to take the lens cap off for a few photos, was such an amazing feeling. I always take photos to remember a feeling I’m having, so that whenever I look at that, I can go back and remember why I took it to begin with. This hasn’t changed in my transition to film, but the internal result for me was amplified by seeing my photos in a new format and essentially a new medium all together.

I don’t know all of the film lingo, as this is all extremely new to me, but the tones that came through just blew me away. Gradient coloring like I’d never seen in my digital photos, and image depth that I think surpasses a full frame sensor in its own right. I was sold, so sold that I told myself I should just shoot film for a few months and learn this new world inside and out.

Shortly after those first two rolls, I had a quick weekend trip to Nashville upcoming. Camping in the mountains with my girlfriend, and then just spending a day in the city. With the decision already made to just shoot film for a while, I stocked up on some Portra 400 and Ektar 100, crossing my fingers that I wouldn’t take a bunch of blurry, improperly exposed, or out of focus photos.

Out of the 4 rolls I shot, I took 3 photos with the lens cap on, 13 photos that were either blurry or underexposed, and 48 usable photos. Out of those usable photos, I loved all of them. Unlike my easy to throwaway digital photos, to me, these were all great photos, even with their imperfections. Whenever I look at them, I’m taken back to how I felt the second the shutter clicked. From taking the photos, having them developed, scanning them in, and then proofing them, it was just a really great feeling to see the images come to life. I’m excited to continue down this road, learn as I go, and hopefully make some really rad photos in the process.

All photos were taken using a Fuji GA645zi on Portra 400

Reader Excerpts: Somewhere Between Waking and Sleeping

Today’s visual-narrative piece comes from Michael Ivnitsky. Michael shares a project entitled “Somewhere Between Waking and Sleeping.” A documentary of his time while transitioning back to life in Tel Aviv explores and visualizes his struggles with insomnia and the constant battle to keep the wheels beneath him moving while transitioning between the dynamics of two very different cities.  

Reader Excerpts allow those who read Now Developing to become part of the collective by sharing a written piece alongside their images on a topic of their choice.  If you have any ideas for a piece and would like to have it featured here, feel free to contact me!

Somewhere Between Waking and Sleeping, shot and written by Michael Ivnitsky (Website, Instagram, Blog)

This project was birthed upon my return to Tel Aviv after living in Dublin for 18 months. I moved to Dublin for a while after growing tired and emotionally drained of Israel.

Tel Aviv is an intense and polarizing place, especially after the sleepy and polite city of Dublin.  While in Dublin, the first six months were filled with insomnia, visiting old friends and meeting new people, finding old places I liked (closed or worse, changed), and being dragged to places I don’t know.  Generally this consisted of trying to get accustomed to the killer pace of working hard whilst partying harder with an occasional visit to an island for serenity.

This majority of this project was shot with a Leica M4 and 35mm Summicron f/2 on Foma Creative 200, developed in D-76 1+1 for 9min @ 20c.  Other shots were taken using a Nikon EM with a 50mm f/1.8 E.

Reader Excerpts: April the 2nd

Reader Excerpts allow those who read Now Developing to become part of the collective by sharing a written piece alongside their images on a topic of their choice.  If you have any ideas for a piece and would like to have it featured here, feel free to contact me!

Today’s piece comes from my good friend Phil Schiller. Phil writes about the first day he got his hands on a camera and how he made the quick and swift progression into shooting film.  Although his experience in photography in general may be limited, he tells us how shooting film has quickly made him realize why and what he loves about the craft and process of photography.

April the 2nd, Written by Phil Schiller (Instagram)

April 2, 2016

That was the day when I finally got my hands on what I would consider to be a real camera. Before that day, the iPhone was as far as I had got into photography.

Fast forward to April 2nd 2016.

My boss let me borrow a Nikon D200 for a while. I expressed to him that I’ve been looking to get myself an actual camera, so he graciously lent me his.  I remember when he gave it to me, I had literally zero idea of what I had just gotten myself into. I’ve never been a patient person by any means, and this definitely tested that. I would look on various Flickr pages, Instagram accounts, etc. and see people’s results and it would simply frustrate me. I finally decided that I wanted to actually sit down, do the research and force myself to learn the basics of photography. Finally, understanding aperture, ISO, and exposing my subject properly; I began seeing actual progress.   I’ll never forget when I took a photo of my roommate working on a project.  I snapped the photo and looked down at the camera to see the final result and it make me geek.

From then on out, I’ve been so lucky to have friends that have already been in the field of image creation, most notably, Katy Konsulis. She was the number one person to teach me not only do you need to know how to operate a camera, but to feel what you’re actually shooting. I can’t express enough how grateful I am for her guidance and knowledge. She’d always ask me “Do you love this?”

At the time, I sort of overanalyzed that. It made me in a way, reconsider what I’m actually striving for in photography. Which in turn, made me realize that all I want is to love the images and the experiences that bring me there. You can be using the best equipment in the world and think that this is it. You’ve found that true happiness that you feel produces the best quality. However, in my opinion, it doesn’t matter what you use to create an image; just make sure it gets you stoked.

After the D200, and gaining as much knowledge and experience from that camera, I knew what I wanted. I saved up and bought myself a Fuji x100T.  Before I plunged and got the T, I gained a lot of interest in street photography. Mainly from watching YouTube channels like Pablo Strong and Negative Feedback. I knew I wanted to give it a shot, so I took the D200, went out of my comfort zone and drove to Downtown Tampa. Being out in that environment was breath of fresh air and super enlightening. I immediately fell in love and I knew what I needed. That’s when and why I bought the x100T. I wanted something fast, quiet, and could produce images without having to think about setting up your camera for an image. This camera, will forever be one of my favorite cameras. I never thought a piece of equipment could train you like the x100T did. It opened my eyes in a completely different way. The Fuji gave me that and so much more.

I started gaining more confidence with photo making and being my own individual when it came to shooting. I even got the opportunity to put up physical work in the coffee shop I work at. This was insane to me at the time. Actually seeing my photos in physical form for others to see. That’s a feeling I don’t think I’ll ever forget. I have to give the Fuji so much credit, because it taught me what I actually wanted. It made me realize that it’s okay to only be a hobbyist. It made me happy, and that’s all that mattered. It also made me realize that the T was not my end all. I was getting to the point where I was just shooting to shoot. In hopes that I’d snag at least one good photo from that session. At the time, it bummed me out and curbed my drive to go out and shoot. I knew I needed a change. That’s when the latest stage of my photography journey came together.

In February earlier this year, I had the opportunity to go to Portland and Seattle for a week with the company I work for. I haven’t traveled much in my life, so this was actually a huge deal in my book.  For one, I actually get to check out the west coast coffee scene and most importantly, I was so stoked to take my camera with me to freeze those moments in time.

I thought to myself, I’m truly excited to record my experiences over there but I wanted to do it in a different way. I wanted to take photos that actually capture the environment and the feel of what I was feeling. I wanted to shoot film. The dude that has graciously allowed to me tell my story on this blog, Dylan, let me have a Canon SureShot 35 and a roll of Arista 400.  It may seem like a simple point & shoot, but right when I loaded the film up, I knew that this was different. I knew I had to revert back to how I originally took photos and to shoot what I feel. I did that exact thing and it was the best experience of my life to date. When Dylan gave my the link to my scans I was so unbelievably stoked. I don’t think I’ve felt that feeling.. perhaps ever? Seeing what you captured weeks later and remembering that exact moment and how it made you feel. That was an amazing experience.

I knew I was hooked. The film bug was in full effect and I sold my x100T.

About a month ago, I finally picked up a new film camera. I bought a Contax G1. When I was researching what I wanted in a camera, I knew I wanted sharpness and reliability. Everywhere I read, the G series is hailed as some of the best cameras do date, for good reason too. Zeiss glass. The competitor to Leica’s glass. I was lucky enough to find a killer deal on a G1 with the Planar 45mm T. Once it arrived in the mail, I knew this was it. I immediately loaded a roll in, and went out shooting. While I was shooting the G, it made me realize how of a wildly different experience it was than shooting with any camera I had shot before it. I shot what I felt and that’s all I did. I just recently got back my first three rolls from Dylan and I’m so excited to keep diving deeper into film. Seeing and feeling the environment of what this camera produces is enlightening and produces such a different feel that I honestly cannot put into words. All I know is I was looking for more realism, more challenge, more emotion.

I found it and I’m not letting go.