PDExposures $20 (£20) Challenge - The Results
So now you’re going to tell me you don’t know about the PDExposures $20 challenge…well where have you been? The brief summary is you get a camera, film and development for $20 (or in the UK, like me, £20). Buy the camera, shoot the film, develop the film, share the results…simple. Really this gives all film photographers a chance to show what can be done on a budget. If you want more details then check the very awesome PDExposures website (here).
So, what did I do. Firstly, the camera…for this I headed to Phillip’s Cameras in Norwich. I’d post a link to Phillip’s but he does not have a website. Phillip is a legend, his small shop is crammed with film related goodness, from LF to MF to 35mm to Instant. He himself is a Leica man, I think he mainly shoots screw mount, which is immediately endearing. What is also great about Phillip is he charges what he thinks a camera is worth, not what collectors and Ebay tell you. This means Leica, ‘Blad and Nikon gear can be pricey but you can get some steals as well. I popped in to his shop and told him about the challenge and that I needed a camera for £10 or less.
After going through a number of choices I went for a clean Olympus XA3. For the record, I really love Olly compacts so this was an easy choice…and it also had a working battery (which I took as a good sign). Zone focus, I like less, and this showed in the results of my shoot (I admit it, I am crap at judging distance).
Now to film, and here Phillip also provided. I went for ISO 400 as the weather in the UK has been shocking. I ended up with a Tesco (a UK supermarket) branded 36 exposure film. After peeling off the crappy supermarket label it was clear the film was made by Ferrania, and therefore the same as the early Lomo 35mm film. I knew I was on to a winner as we all know Tony loves Lomo. Actually, the film was expired and grainy as anything (judging by the results).
So, to the shoot. I decided I really needed to illustrate the joys of my home county so I shot in three of my favourite places in Norfolk. Firstly, to Sheringham, which is an awesome town by the coast. When we arrived we realised that there was a Morris dance festival going on (with some Molly dancers thrown in). Hence that amongst the beach shots there are shots of a very large chicken and some scary dudes with sticks (who really freak A out).
Then to Warham Camp. Warham Camp is seriously cool, I mean seriously cool. Warham Camp is a little known iron-age hill fort just set back from the coast near Wells-next-the-Sea. I have spent many, many happy hours wandering the earthworks here and its just a stunning spot. The River Stiffkey runs by the edge of the fort, and it has some monstrously good trees as well.
Finally, I went home to mum’s, where I grew up, with one shot left. So, outside, wine and olives…what better way to end a great day and a great challenge.
Developing was done at a local drugstore (Boots) as we have no independent shops within easy reach (which is really a great shame).
…and what did this all cost?
Olly XA3 - £10, Film - £1, developing -£5 = £16
If all this sounds intriguing then have a look at the PDExposures Flickr group and go out and do it yourself…Happy Shooting!
Oh, and dammit…Tumblr doesn’t allow me to post all the shots…here are some more.