Why I Shoot Film : Miesh Photography

July 24, 2015

Miesh Photography

Remember this post way back when? Well, I’ve got the first guest for this series, Michelle of Miesh Photography! I met Michelle a few years ago, when Jordan and I wanted to update some family photos of us (since we looked nothing like our wedding photos). She did an AMAZING job (I use a lot of her photos for this blog), and really kickstarted my interest in film photography. Here she is!

When/why did you start shooting film? What was your first film camera?

I started traveling right after high school graduation in 2007. I lived in China for about 5 months exploring, teaching english, and just overall learning about myself. I took a small digital camera with me, it had a few manual settings that I would always sit and mess around with. I was constantly wanting something more out of the images I was taking. I would get back from having these amazing adventures and feel so sad about the fact that I couldn’t take images the way I pictured them in my head. I got back at Christmas and the first thing I signed up for to start my college career was a photography class! It was a simple BW photo class where we shot, developed & printed our own pictures. I instantly fell in love with the magic & process (as most people do) and knew that I wanted photography to be a part of my world. So although technically my first film camera was my dads 35mm pentax, my first medium format camera was my Grandpa’s Hasselblad 500CM. My grandpa had passed away and this camera had gone to one of my cousins before it found its way to me. My cousin was determined that it was broken. I shot a few rolls through it and was instantly hooked. It definitely had had its fare share of usage when my grandpa was alive. He was a hobbiest photographer who mainly used his talent to capture his kids activities and portraits of friends and family. They had a little darkroom in the basement of their house. As a kid I remember thinking how scary that little room seemed, now I look at it and wish I had one of my own!

Miesh Photography Miesh Photography

What camera(s)/film do you shoot with today?

I have gone through a lot of different shooting phases with my cameras! As of now my go-to cameras would be my Hasselblad 501cm, Pentax 67, Pentax 645N, Polaroid 195, Minolta X700. I use each of these to achieve a different look and feel to whatever it is I am shooting.

Miesh Photography

What are your favorite subjects to shoot?

I would have to say my favorite “subject” is probably what I get to create for my personal projects. One of the reasons I love shooting personal projects is because I am 100% in control from start to finish. It can be incredibly overwhelming at times, but is also so rewarding when it comes out looking exactly like what I had envisioned in my head! I love capturing something that might not otherwise exist unless it was constructed by a team of creatives. I think this is why I like the fashion world so much, it allows me to almost play make-believe with my camera. I have a soft spot in my heart for anything retro or vintage inspired. Its so fun to create imagery that allows me to step back in time for a few hours!

Miesh Photography
Miesh Photography

Why shoot film?

I get this question ALL the time. Especially nowadays with all the filters and plug ins that make digital look extremely similar to film imagery. A lot of people ask WHY spend all the time & money to shoot film. It is not a simple question for me to answer, but I have to relate back to where I and most other photographers began. Most photographers have come from a place where they get to see the image start to finish. Shooting, developing, printing. Although I don’t work like this in my professional arena (all my film is scanned in digitally and printed from the digital scans), there is still a magic to film that I can’t deny. Many film photographers relate the day that they get to see their scans comparable to Christmas morning, and I would say its usually even BETTER. I still get to dabble here and there with processing my own rolls, but I hope some day to have a little darkroom similar to my grandpa’s. I would say one of the main reasons I shoot film is that I like the way I shoot when I’m behind the camera. I take my time, think about the shot and the exposure a little more in depth then I do behind a digital camera. I like not having to keep up with the next “big thing” in the digital world. I am using cameras that are 30+ years old and they still function as great as the day they were made. I could go on and on about the reasons I love film photography, but i’ll try to leave it to sum it up in one word….MAGIC.

Miesh Photography
Miesh Photography
Miesh Photography
Miesh Photography

– Miesh Photography

www.mieshphotography.com

@mieshphotography

All photos in this post are property of Miesh Photography

Germany Travels – Neuschwanstein Castle

July 22, 2015

Germany 2015

After our short stay in London, we hopped on a plane and flew to Germany. I’d rather not go into details about our bargain flight out of London, but let’s just say be VERY cautious when flying with Ryanair. If you’re a backpacker/light traveler, you will probably be fine and get a heck of a deal. But we were a party of eight plus two babies. It was a long day, and we were SO relieved to finally land in Germany.

Anyway. Germany was incredible. It was nothing like I had imagined, and yet it felt oddly familiar. One of our stops was a road trip out to the Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria (the castle that inspired the design of Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle).

Germany 2015

You guys. I need to write this down for posterity. Let it be known that I was the operator of a 7-passenger van with a manual transmission. In a foreign country. I can count on one hand how many times I killed it, something I think I can be proud of. (I’m not so proud of the language that occasionally slipped from my mouth, however.) Anyway. There is a picture as proof.

Germany 2015

Germany 2015

Germany 2015

Germany 2015

I’d live there.

The castle is nestled in the mountains that remind me of Yosemite. Massive, speckled with pine trees. The take-your-breath-away type mountains.

We took a tour of the inside of the castle, but no photos were allowed. This castle was build under the direction of Ludwig II of Bavaria. He amassed a huge amount of debt during the construction, and only spent 11 days in the castle before his death. He never saw the castle’s completion, and parts of the castle remain unfinished to this day.

At the end of the tour, there was a lookout point where we could snap some shots, and the view was, well, see for yourself:

Germany 2015

Germany 2015

Germany 2015

That bridge! It is called the Marienbrücke, or Marie’s Bridge, named after Ludwig’s mother. We thought about trekking across the valley to reach the bridge, but in all honesty, we were too pooped. Not to mention, the height alone looks a little spooky. That view, though.

Germany 2015

London in Three Days

July 8, 2015

London 2015

We were in London for a hot minute before our trip out to Germany. I barely had a moment to catch my breath. The days were packed! And I’m going to try and pack the whole London bit into one post. See you at the end?

London 2015

Big Ben. Westminster. The London Eye. The British Museum. Gielgud Theater. Primark. Tea time. Fish n’ Chips! The tube. Buckingham Palace. We had an ambitious to-do list. My sister has spent a bit of time in London before, and was a great tour guide for the few days we had.

London 2015

London 2015

London 2015

London 2015

London 2015

London 2015

(My friend is starting this clothing company, so I snagged a few shots of his gear while I was abroad.)

London 2015

London 2015

London 2015

London 2015

London 2015

London 2015

I could take photos of these doors for DAYS.

London 2015

London 2015

We had to catch the earliest train out to the airport when we left for Germany. That ended up being the longest day of my LIFE, but that is another story. We got to see quite a beautiful sunrise. I mean, golly. London, you are quite the charmer.

London 2015

Up next, Germany!

Back in the States!

July 6, 2015

Packed up

I took off across the pond just over a week ago with almost everything pictured in tow (no pup or husband, sadly). It was a whirlwind of a trip, filled with memories I will always hold close. Germany is in my blood, and I can’t wait to return someday very soon.

I’ve got a few photos to share (hah, duh) and stories to tell, and I PROMISE I will get to them. But for now, I need sleep.

UP IN THE AIR – Europe Bound

June 24, 2015

Airport Vibes

I feel like I blinked and it’s been two weeks since I last posted. Life doesn’t slow down for anyone! Jordan and I have been out on the road (er, in the sky) a bit lately for work, so I thought I’d share some film shots from up in the air.

Up in the Air

Up in the Air

Up in the Air

Up in the Air - California

Up in the Air - California

Airport Vibes

This crazy world keeps spinning, and my trip across the pond is here! I’m meeting my family out in London this week. We will spend a few days exploring the city, then fly over to Germany. My grandmother is from Germany, so we will meet some distant cousins and explore places from her childhood. And eat bratwurst!

Jordan will be staying home this time, which is a pretty big bummer. I feel particularly guilty about leaving him, since it is our 6-year anniversary the day I fly out :(. We’ve got some mountain adventures planned when I return to celebrate/make up for the fact that I am jetting off on our anni. Also, he has Kiko to keep him company while I’m gone :).

I love this kid more every day.

Airplane Vibes

Happy 6 years. Love you always, Jo!

Except the last shot, all photos taken with the Pentax 645N on Kodak Ektar film

Falmouth, Jamaica

June 10, 2015

Caribbean 2015

Thought I’d shake things up a bit and share our trip down south (way south) to the Caribbean. The ocean is a sight for sore eyes/dry eyes when you’re from a landlocked state.

Caribbean
Caribbean - April 2015

We got sent out here for work, and had the chance to visit a school and shelter for children in Falmouth, Jamaica. Though we had a bit of down time to explore and relax, visiting these kids was by far the highlight of the trip.

Caribbean

Caribbean

The school takes good care of the children, but the shelter was in dire need of maintenance. The building is actually an old, rundown rest stop, located in a dangerous area. At night, predators often trespass the grounds. It is a horrific thought, and it was all the motivation we needed to get to work.

Our main objective was to build a fence along the perimeter of the shelter, for added protection against trespassers. And man, everyone gave 110%. While the fence was being built, extra helping hands took to the walls of the building, scraping off old paint, cleaning, and painting a fresh new coat of yellow onto the walls.

This little one stole everyone’s hearts.

Caribbean

Caribbean

After a long day, we packed up and said goodbye. The shelter still has plenty of work to be done, but we were grateful we could contribute a bit of our efforts to the cause.

I posted this on Insta already, but I wanted to post it here, too. While visiting the children at the school, some became pretty curious about my camera. I would take photos, and show the children their faces on the camera screen. One boy wanted to try it out for himself, so I let him snap a few shots. He took this photo:

Caribbean - April 2015

Favorite photo of the trip, by far.

Caribbean

Caribbean - April 2015

Caribbean - April 2015

For those interested, the organization managing this project is called Tiny Hope. See our video here.

Kiko’s Adoption

June 5, 2015

Kiko, Australian Shepherd Mix

Didn’t take long to snap some shots on film of this pup. I had a few more frames I needed to use up on a roll of film, she’s a pretty good model for that!

Kiko is just about 9 months old now, and quickly maturing from her puppy stage. The folks we adopted her from said she is an Australian Shepherd mix, but they were unsure of what she’s mixed with. After spending the past few weeks with her, we are pretty sure she is mixed with a border collie. This pup has some spunk!

How we came to adopt her was a bit serendipitous. I had been perusing the adoption sites for months, keeping an eye out for dogs we could adopt. There were some I was interested in, but they would either already be adopted, or live too far away.

Then I found Kiko. Immediately after seeing her posting, I emailed the adoption center to find out more about her. She was scheduled to be spayed and vaccinated that weekend, and would be available following her appointment.

Jordan and I were a bit conflicted. We were moving that next weekend, and would be out of town for work the following week, and it was going to just be too hard to adopt her that soon. I told them we’d keep in touch in case she didn’t get adopted that weekend.

Kiko, Australian Shepherd Mix

I soon got another email from them, telling me that Kiko had fallen ill. She had contracted kennel cough, and wouldn’t be able to make it to her spayed/vaccination appointment until she was fully healed. While I was sad to hear she was sick, I was hopeful she would not get adopted before we were able to come see her (she was located three hours south of us). They said they would contact me once she was better.

Weeks went by, and I heard nothing. I emailed them again to check up on her, but I got no response. I was worried her illness took a turn for the worse. Or maybe she ended up being adopted by someone else. We got sent out on another work trip, and I started to accept the fact that she was no longer available.

We were waiting in the airport, heading home from our work trip, when I received an email from the adoption center. Kiko was better! She had her spayed/vacc appointment set up for that next weekend. Jordan and I had already planned a camping trip down south to Zions, and Kiko would be and easy stop on the drive back up.

Kiko, Australian Shepherd Mix

We have had her for just over a month now, and we are so happy! It is the BEST to come home to a wiggly, smiley pup after a long day at work. She keep us on our toes, and we love her. She sure brings a lot of joy into our lives.

Here’s to the many adventures ahead with this pup!

Kiko, Australian Shepherd Mix

All photos shot with the Pentax 645N on Kodak Ektar, pushed 2 stops

Zion National Park, Utah | On Film

June 3, 2015

Zion National Park, Utah

We visited Zion National Park a few weekends ago, and it rained almost the entire time. BUT as the locals pointed out to us, it was a pretty unique sight to see the red rocks covered in rain. The sun made an appearance intermittently throughout the weekend (jeez I sound like a weatherman). Anyway. It was wet, and beautiful.

Zion National Park, Utah

Zion National Park, Utah

The morning view from our campsite outside of Zion:

Zion National Park, Utah

Highlight detail brought to you by your friendly neighborhood Kodak Ektar film, pushed 2 stops! I’m constantly amazed with the amount of detail preserved in the highlights with film photos. Hashtag shoot film not megapixels, film is not dead, etc.

Zion National Park, Utah

Zion National Park, Utah

Zion National Park, Utah

Zion National Park, Utah

Zion National Park, Utah

^^I told Jordan he looked like the actual hiker icon on the trail signs. Know what I mean? The backpack, the walking stick, the stride. He’s got it down.^^

Zion National Park, Utah

Zion National Park, Utah

Man, that blue is vibrant.

Zion National Park, Utah

Zion National Park, Utah

Zion National Park, Utah

More highlight detail goodness.

Zion National Park, Utah

Summer looks good on ya, Ektar.

Shot on both the Pentax 645N and Canon AE-1, with Kodak Ektar film pushed two stops.

British Columbia, Canada | On Film

May 27, 2015

BX Trail, British Columbia

I got sick a few months ago, I think it was some flu bug going around. All I ate were saltines and cautious sips of Sprite. And somehow, I fell in love with saltines.

I don’t know how this happened. Usually, whatever you eat while you are sick only reminds you of the sickness. Not to mention, they are dry and plain, with only a hint of salt. Yet I can eat a whole sleeve in one sitting, no problem. I try not to. But I can.

What does this have to do with the photos, you might ask? Hm. Nothing I suppose. I’m munching on them now, and that’s about it.

BX Trail, British Columbia

I shared a few shots from our brief stay in British Columbia, and here are some photographs we shot on film! (Putting the saltines away).

BX Trail, British Columbia

BX Trail, British Columbia

BX Trail, British Columbia

Oh hey there, eyes.

BX Trail, British Columbia

Even shooting on expensive film won’t stop me from shooting my feet. I don’t care.

BX Trail, British Columbia

We finished the hike right as the sun was setting. The trailhead was just across the street from a farm, so our view as we emerged from the woods was quite the sight.

THIS IS WHY I have a love/hate relationship with film:

BX Trail, British Columbia

MID-BLINK. Ugh.

And this shot I look like I just stole candy from the gas station store.

BX Trail, British Columbia

Ah, oh well. You can see the lighting/location was beautiful. That’s what I get for having a photo taken of MYSELF. Lesson learned, narcissism never was happiness.

This roll was Kodak Ektar, rated at 400 and pushed one stop in development. Shot on the Pentax 645N

B.X. Falls in British Columbia, Canada

May 20, 2015

BX Falls, British Columbia

We were in Canada for a work shoot last week, and had the chance to do a bit of exploring during our down time. So we hiked!

BX Falls, British Columbia
BX Trail, British Columbia

Our shoot was in Vernon, B.C., on the north side of Okanagan Lake. For those familiar with Washington, it feels a lot like Lake Chelan, which is pretty much directly south of Vernon.

There is a slower pace to the town, with an outdoorsy vibe. And PLENTY to do. They get good snowfall during the winter, and nice, warm sunny days in the summer. The people I’ve met from this area tell me that living here is basically like being on vacation 24/7. Sounds good to me!

This hike was a relatively easy four miler (roundtrip) along B.X. Creek, down to B.X. Falls. It took us just over an hour to reach the falls, and around three hours total to complete the hike. We love getting out and hiking anytime we are up in the northwest. The crisp, damp air is a relief to our Utah lungs.

BX Falls, British Columbia
BX Falls, British Columbia
BX Falls, British Columbia
BX Trail, British Columbia

This is what I get when I ask Jordan to be my model for a photograph. Model = arm over the head pose.

BX Falls, British Columbia
BX Trail, British Columbia

Side note: my film camera was giving me trouble during this trip. Film in general has been giving me trouble as of late. And I’ll admit there have been some frustrations. But! I refuse to give up! It is just a hobby of mine as of now, and if I am just treating it as a hobby, I can’t expect spectacular results. With the warmer weather and longer nights, I hope to get out and shoot a lot more film, and figure some stuff out. And hey, it were easy, it wouldn’t be worth it. I’ll share my film shots from this trip after I chill out a bit. :)

Oh one more thing! My friends over at The Collaboreat asked me to share a favorite place to eat in the Salt Lake area. If you eat food, you should check it out.

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