Shooting Urban Photography on Instant Film?

Welcome to our blog where we delve into the exciting world of shooting urban photography on instant film. In an era where digital dominates, there is something undeniably captivating about the unique aesthetics and tangible nature of instant film. Urban landscapes provide a visually stimulating backdrop, with their contrasting architectural marvels, bustling streets, and vibrant street art. Through this blog, we aim to explore the art of capturing these urban scenes on instant film and dive into the tips, techniques, and inspirations that can elevate your photography game. Whether you are an aspiring photographer or a seasoned pro, we invite you to join us on this enchanting journey of shooting urban photography on instant film.

Shooting Urban Photography on Instant Film: Exploring the Rolleiflex Instant Camera

We always love shooting on our old Rolleiflex film camera, so when they launched a Kickstarter campaign for an instant film camera, we decided to back it. Our camera finally arrived about a month ago, and now it’s time to take it out for the first time around downtown LA and see what kind of shots we can capture. We have two packs of Instax Mini film, one color and one black and white, which we will alternate using. It’s important to note that this review is not sponsored by Rolleiflex – we paid for the camera ourselves and will provide an honest assessment of its performance.

Challenges of Framing and Composition

One of the challenges we encountered with this camera is that when framing a shot, left appears as right and right appears as left through the viewfinder. This can be a bit confusing and takes some time to adjust to. It takes a little brain trick to get the shot we want. For example, when I move to the right, the subject actually moves to their left. This opposite movement can be quite challenging and requires practice to get used to.

Sponsorship Note: Thanks to Skillshare

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What We Liked and Didn’t Like about the Rolleiflex Instant

Now, let’s discuss our impressions of the Rolleiflex instant camera after taking it out for a test shoot. There were several things we liked about it:

  • The waist-level viewfinder is perfect for shooting strangers and street photography. Shooting from the waist level is less intimidating than pointing the camera at your face, allowing for more candid shots from different perspectives.
  • The focus wheel on the side is smooth and easily accessible while composing your shot. The full magnification also helps in achieving better focus.
  • The variable aperture provides some manual control in an instant camera, which is a nice feature to have.
  • The camera retains the vintage look of the classic Rolleiflex cameras, combining metal and hard plastic to create a solid yet lightweight body.

However, there were a few drawbacks we encountered:

  • We struggled to get the exposure right most of the time, even with the exposure compensation set down. Many photos ended up being overexposed.
  • The waist-level viewfinder took some getting used to, as the left-to-right movements are reversed. It requires practice and slows down the shooting process.
  • The price of the Rolleiflex instant camera, at around $400, is quite steep compared to other instant film cameras. For most situations, where an instant film camera is needed, we would recommend a more affordable option like the Fuji film Instax Wide camera, which costs around $100 and produces wider photos.

In conclusion, the Rolleiflex instant camera is a fun and gimmicky option for individuals who have the budget to spend on such a camera. It offers immediate feedback and the vintage aesthetic that Rolleiflex is known for. However, due to its higher price, exposure difficulties, and the learning curve associated with the waist-level viewfinder, it may not be the most practical choice for everyday use. We hope you found this review helpful. Remember to subscribe and enable notifications to stay updated with our latest videos. Until next time!

Shooting Urban Photography on Instant Film – FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions – Shooting Urban Photography on Instant Film

1. What is instant film photography?

Instant film photography refers to the process of capturing and developing a photograph in real-time. It allows you to see the physical print immediately after you click the shutter, without the need for traditional film development.

2. Why would I shoot urban photography on instant film?

Shooting urban photography on instant film offers a unique and nostalgic aesthetic. It adds a vintage and timeless feel to your images, and the immediate gratification of seeing the print instantly can be an exciting experience in itself.

3. What are the advantages of shooting urban photography on instant film?

Some advantages include:

  • Simplicity: Instant film cameras are usually compact and easy to use, making them perfect for shooting in urban environments.
  • Authenticity: Instant film captures the scene as it is, with minimal post-processing. This adds an authentic and raw quality to your urban photographs.
  • Immediate results: Seeing the physical print instantly allows you to gauge your composition, lighting, and overall exposure, helping you improve your photography skills on the spot.

4. What are the challenges of shooting urban photography on instant film?

Challenges may include:

  • Limited shots: Instant film usually comes in packs with a limited number of exposures, so you need to be selective and thoughtful with your shots.
  • Exposure control: Instant film cameras may have limited manual control options, so understanding the available settings and how they affect the outcome is crucial to getting the desired results.
  • Availability of film: Instant film may not be as readily available as traditional film, so keeping a stock of film and planning ahead is important.

5. Which instant film cameras are suitable for urban photography?

Some popular instant film camera options for urban photography include:

  • Polaroid Originals OneStep 2: A modern instant camera inspired by Polaroid’s original OneStep from the 1970s.
  • Fujifilm Instax Wide 300: An instant camera that uses Fujifilm’s Instax Wide film, offering larger prints and a wider field of view.
  • Leica Sofort: Leica’s instant film camera that combines style and quality, producing sharp images with a classic Leica aesthetic.

Remember to research and choose a camera that suits your specific needs and preferences.

6. Are there any specific techniques or tips for shooting urban photography on instant film?

A few tips to consider:

  • Experiment with composition: Urban environments offer a wide variety of architectural elements, vibrant colors, and interesting textures. Explore different angles and perspectives to capture unique shots.
  • Pay attention to lighting: Play with natural and artificial light sources as they can greatly impact the mood and atmosphere of your urban photographs.
  • Embrace imperfections: Instant film often comes with its own quirks and unique characteristics, such as color shifts or unpredictable results. Don’t be afraid to embrace these imperfections as they can add charm and personality to your images.

Feel free to experiment and develop your own style as you explore the world of urban photography on instant film!

I hope you find useful my article Shooting Urban Photography on Instant Film?, I also recommend you to read my other posts in my blog at this link.

If you need help with anything join the community or do not hesitate to contact me.

Best of luck! and follow your passion.

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