May 24, 2012


{or, maybe just waiting for something to happen}

I've been watching my studio shrink around me for a while now. It's filled up, with less and less room to walk, and pretty much no where to set anything down. It's frustrating, but it's not a bad thing -- even though it feels like it is. Simply put, my darlings, I must upgrade. Easier said than done. So while that clock is ticking and I'm falling behind on virtually everything, I've been playing around with my newest acquisition, which happens to not be a power tool. Surprise surprise! Instead, it's a 1954 Leica.

Most of my childhood photographs were taken with this camera. I remember the anticipatory buzzing of the self timer and the clean click as it went off. It has sat precariously on many a rock, many a tree-stump, propped up with sticks and books and whatever could be had to hold it in place. In all those years, it never fell, it was never dropped. Self-timed family portraits were plentiful and the lens escaped without a speck of dust. The leather pouch endured through multiple Italy's, Greece, France, Germany, India, road trips and backpacking, and was re-sewn at one point, crookedly and with different colors of thread. This camera has been in my life for years and I never thought twice about it, until now, when it has made me love it.

Shooting in film makes you do everything in one's, instead of in multiples. It's that one moment, in that particular light, and then it makes you wait. And wait. Until you finish the roll. Which in my case is weeks. And since I'm still learning, only half come out well, which makes my patience stretch to anxiety for the next roll to come. Yes indeed, having a film camera is like searching for the perfect studio; it might suck at the moment but once it happens, it can be rather marvelous.


  1. Were all of this pics taken with Leica? They look gorgeous!

    1. Thank you! Yes, these were all from my first roll of film ever on the Leica.

  2. Beautiful photos. What I noticed with working with film, rather than digital, is that you learn more about the anatomy of taking a shot. There is no clever chip in a film camera that will automatically calculate a perfect shot. In effect you have to be the clever chip!

    Love that I found your blog that makes me want to swap my wool for wood.

  3. And this is why I have fallen in love with film.

    I love your statement - "shooting in film makes you do everything in one's" - so true. Film allows me to be mindful of every.single.shot.

  4. amazing pics... love the 3rd one...
    big hugs

  5. the timing on this is impeccable; i just saw on my instagram feed a photo someone snapped of an enlarger that had been recently tossed out onto the street - such a sad, depressing sight. memories flooded back of using an enlarger the first time i took photography classes in high school and the anticipation of seeing what i shot on film translated onto paper, everything now is so instantaneous, so 'now, now, now' and completely centered on immediate gratification, we forget the simple pleasure of working towards something, the time it takes to get there, and the original intent of the saying 'we sow what we reap'. anyway.

    good luck to you in the search for new space, however hard or soft that search might be. and here's to hoping, that the perfect, new space finds you.

  6. crap. i just re-read my sentence and 1) i meant semi-colon between 'paper' and 'everything', not a comma and 2) i meant we reap what we sow, not the other way around, haha. whoops, got overexcited commenting, i guess.

  7. I love these Ariele, especially the first three and the third last one. I like the way you describe working with film, and how it's all about ones.
    I'm looking forward to a time when my little ones are at school which might allow me some time during the day to explore the magic of film....
    Gorgeous camera too. :)
    Ronnie xo

  8. Ah, yes. Old film cameras. So much fun. Especially with a good prime lens that opens up real big.

    Make sure to try any Ilford Black & White or Fuji's Acros 100. And Kodak's Ektar 100 color film.

    Watch out... this can easily turn into a very expensive venture!

  9. Coffee plants! I think they are coffee plants? Well all the pictures are really beautiful. Shooting film is like building your own table. You are making something in the real world.

  10. Film rules, digital drools! Lovely camera.

  11. Beauty, beauty. I love shooting film so, so much and I love the weight of my old, heavy camera in my hands. These are just great Ariele, I can't wait to see more. Where did you find such a glorious peony?

  12. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.

    I was so lucky to be gifted (!) a 1953 Leica iiif a couple of years ago (set here: and completely agree with its magic. There's something about the Leica glass that just outperforms / outromanticizes / outLOVES all other cameras. I don't know how they do what they do.

    On the flip side, it's such a pain to load. Do you have to trim the film to load it as well? Anyhow, can't wait to see more!

  13. Greetings from Greece. I randomly landed on your blog and really love what you make with your hands. Good luck with your Leica. I've recently discovered the Lubitel my mum used to have as a student and am still trying to work my head around how it works. Any tips? ;)

    be well

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