Film in Thailand: Black and White / by Adam Travis

It was -11°C in Gwangju last night. Looking at vacation photos isn't doing much to change that, but thinking about being warm is the next best thing to actually being warm. This week, I'll be showing the results of the black-and-white film I shot in Thailand, earlier this month. 

I brought a few rolls of black and white film with the intention to shoot them mostly at night. I would split the rolls across the eight nights we would be spending in Thailand, using maybe a half-roll every night. Reality didn't entirely match up with that plan. I rewound one half-shot roll too far and ended up shooting the other three throughout the week in a huge variety of lighting situations. 

The result is a collection of moody, grainy scenes that contrasts nicely with everything shot on colour, albeit with fewer frames. 

This also concludes my three-part blog on shooting film on vacation. At times, it was stressful: not knowing if anything would come out, not knowing if I'd have x-ray fogging on the negatives, wondering if the low-speed film would prevent me from getting shots at night, and just trying to keep everything organized.

But aside from a couple of mishaps (dropping the camera on day one and rewinding a roll with only seven frames on it), I found this experience to be really, really fun. I didn't spend hours trying to edit pictures from my camera on my phone or reviewing and agonizing over shots during my downtime.

Most of all, I found myself falling into a sort of meditation when I was looking through the viewfinder. As I'd bring my camera up to face the scene in front of me, the running dialogue in my mind would fade away. Instead, I felt myself become completely absorbed in the moment. The voice in my head was more focused on what was in front of me: composition, getting close, and capturing the right moments. Focus. Click. Wind. Repeat. 

While not every shot on every roll came out the way I'd expected, I'm more than thrilled with what I got, and the memories that those rolls documented.