Anticipation and Imperfection

The anticipation of film photography is a unique experience.  Wondering how your photos turned out - if they reflect your vision while looking through the lens - is fun but also tense.  You may be pleasantly surprised, even blown away, by the results.  Or you may build it up so much in your head that the reality is a disappointment.  Such was the case today after dropping off a roll from my Minolta XG1 (thank goodness for one hour photo, at least!).  

My Minolta is from 1979 and fully manual (focusing, aperture, shutter speed) - even the light meter is broken, forcing me to make educated guesses on exposure.  The previous roll from my Minolta (only my third ever) was magical and I hoped that the results were not a fluke.  On Saturday I took some photos at the farmer’s market and hoped for more magic.  When I went to pick up my photos, the tech guy told me that there was some “white residue” on my film.  Ah, light leaks.  Of this phenomenon I know, but I taped the film door seam and counter window to solve the problem, so I thought.  The seals apparently were not tight enough, though, and the bright sun made it through.  

As you can see, light leaks overexpose part of the film, washing the photo out.  This happens when sun seeps in the camera and reaches the film.  Sometimes light leaks are fun in their unpredictability, but the same light leak in a whole series of photos is a bummer.

Still, the more I look at these photos, the more I like them.  Love them, even.  Unlike my digital images taken the same day, these film photos really convey the dusty and hot atmosphere of the farmer’s market.  Can’t you almost feel the grit on those mushrooms?

But now I have to tape the hell out of my camera to prevent future light leaks!

Has anyone else dealt with light leaks?  Have you found a solution or do you embrace the imperfections?

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