(Originally posted on the website Continuum…)

Failure. That’s right. Photography failure.

This past weekend I finally popped a roll of film into the 35mm camera that was given to me. A roll of black and white film. I spent the weekend taking photos and learning how to adjust the exposure. On Monday morning, I stood out in the freezing morning air and took photos of the power plant to which these smoke stacks belong. There are several stacks at this plant, including two huge, squat-looking ones. There was so much steam billowing out of all the stacks. It made for a great photo opportunity since the morning sky was so blue and clear.

Well… The photo above is the only photo that came out looking nice. It was taken with the digital camera. In addition to the 35mm, I took a few shots in color with the digital. Unfortunately, in the glare of the sunshine, I did not notice that there was a spot of dirt on the lense that ruined the other photos taken before this one.

As for the 35mm… I… uh… didn’t load the film correctly. So each time I cranked the film advance lever, it really did not advance the film. I dropped it off at the one hour photo place near work, only to come back to be told, “The good news is that there is no charge. The bad news is…” I was afraid of that. It just didn’t feel right when I manually rewound the film. So, no black and white photos of the power plant, or the drum set, or Shannon, or the gallon of windshield cleaner at the gas station, or the Swedish Fish candy on the ground in the Wal-Mart parking lot.

However, failure should never be the end of the story. I correctly loaded the film last night, took lots of experimental pictures, and went back to have them developed at lunch today. It seems that I have a tendency to over-expose too often. The headstone in a local cemetery looks good, as well as a close up of a candle. The photo of a pretty girl was nice but slightly over-exposed. A great model, but a poor photographer.

Right now, improvement is success.

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