Photos: Shooting with a 35mm Disposable Camera

These photos were meant to be in the A Million Little Pictures project, but I got sick and wasn’t able to get them in on time. 😦 The goal was to take 24 photos of a day in our life using a 35mm disposable camera, develop them, and send them off to the show. Even though I won’t be participating in the project, I’m still going to feature these pics on my blog anyways! 😛

{Alley way in Marina Del Rey} This is a typical street/alley through Marina Del Rey. You generally see surfers walking around in their wetsuits with their boards, bicyclists, and people walking their purse dogs around this area. The Venice Canals and the Pacific Ocean are both just around the corner.

{Urban Self-Portrait} I wanted to take a pic of myself in this urban landscape. I thought this would be perfect -- me surrounded by concrete and barely visible through the dirty glass and graffiti.

The project goal for AMLP was to take 24 photos of our life in one day. I had a ton of ideas for themes I wanted to do, but with the clock ticking I settled for taking photos around my neighbourhood. I decided to capture the things about where I live that is uniquely LA (or Californian) from my perspective. I’m originally from Toronto, Canada, and even though I’ve been living in California for almost 3 years now, everything still feels very “new” and “different” to me (isn’t that kinda silly?).

{Marina Market & Liquor} The signs in LA have such a retro charm with the type of fonts they use. I love the orange/blue/yellow/green in this pic. Someone had tied those balloons to the newspaper boxes (just out of the frame). I also want to point out that alcohol is sold in grocery stores here in the States (it isn't in Canada).

{Looking North on the beach in Marina Del Rey} Usually the smog is so thick that you can't even see the mountains. It's been exceptionally clear lately.

The camera that AMLP provided me with was a crappy disposable camera with regular 35mm film (and a piece of fuzz showed up on every pic — ugh).  Back in the day I used to shoot with film all the time.  In fact, I used to feel like I was practically the last person to convert to a digital camera!  lol.  But now that I’m so used to digital, going back to regular film was almost a strange experience for me. I like that digital cameras let me instantly check the photo I just took to see if it’s framed properly, what the lighting is like, etc, so I know if I need to re-take the shot again.  And I can take like a million pics with my 8gb card without fearing that I might run out of space. With regular film you get one chance… that’s it. Even pressing the shutter was so non-eventful. No sound at all.  Actually, I thought the camera was broken at first, lol!

{Shadows} It's so sunny here all the time that it tends to wash all the colours out.

{Trees in Hermosa Beach}

My friend Emud Mokhberi who is an amazing photographer insists on shooting with regular film. He let me shoot with his Leica MP once (with a Noctilux lens… ohh so awesome), and although it was a wonderful experience to shoot with such a gorgeous high-end camera + lens, I just can’t get past not being able to immediately see what my photos look like.  I guess I’m spoiled.  There is a lot of trust when you take pictures with regular film. You are forced to give the camera 100% of your trust that it will turn out just right. You’ll never know what your photos really look like until you get them back from the developers.  I found myself being way more picky about what I took a photo of, and feeling disappointed when I would see a great photo op, but my film had already run out.  And then the disappointment when film doesn’t turn out after all that work!  :S Despite my hang-ups, I still had a lot of fun taking these photos, and I’m glad I did, even if they won’t be on display with all the other participants at the Art House Gallery in Atlanta, GA. 😛

{Gate} I love some of the architecture here in LA, it's got such an awesome Mexican/Spanish vibe that we don't have back in Canada. That's a skull above the doorway!

{Pathway to home... for now.} This is where I live -- for the moment. I've moved around so much in the past 3yrs that this is just another glimpse of "home", for now.

2 thoughts on “Photos: Shooting with a 35mm Disposable Camera

  1. Hey, Emily! I saw these photos on flickr and decided to follow you to your blog. I absolutely love this series–I come from Marina Del Rey too (just moved to Playa Vista) and it’s interesting to see places I’m so familiar with through a different pair of eyes. I also understand what you mean about wanting to look at the photos on your camera right after you take them, but the disposable camera gives the photos such a nice, washed-out feel to them that you don’t see too often anymore. Looking forward to more photos!

    • Hi Valerie, thanks for your comment! I lived in Playa Vista for a bit, it’s a gorgeous new neighbourhood with lots of cool houses. I don’t live in MDR anymore, but it’s nice having photos to reminisce. I started taking pics with my Holga camera… gotta love retro film! 😀

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