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Let me tell you about a roll of film that went through a lot.
Not because of the places and things I captured with it, no, I mean way more literal than that. This roll of film lived a rough life but came out the other side and here I am to tell its story.
I mentioned in my earlier post that I had brought a vintage SLR camera with me to Atlanta.
I have posted photos from this camera before,here, and I knew it wasn’t perfect but “perfect” has never really mattered to me.
It’s a Carena Micro RSD and we found it in a box with random camera stuff at a flea market in Sweden, for a bargain. We got it right before our wedding back in 2013 and asked one of our friends to capture our day with it.
So it holds a lot of sentimental value for me, and I wanted to shoot more film, so it got to come along to Atlanta.
I used it every once in a while over our 7 months there, and then when the roll was full I re-winded it- but something didn’t feel right. I opened the back and oh no the camera had chewed the film; it was torn apart and not at all rolled up, so I had just unwillingly exposed it to light and subsequently destroyed the film even further than the camera had already done. I closed the camera, ran to my bed and threw it under the cover where I could safely, in the dark, remove the film and put it in a canister, and for extra security- a black sunglasses bag that I had grabbed in the haste. That would have to do until later.

Months later, back in LA, I thought, maybe I could use this roll for practicing developing negatives at home- something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. If it’s already botched I wouldn’t need to be so scared of destroying some kind of masterpiece (which obviously would have been my thought otherwise) and I would feel more relaxed, free to experiment and learn.
I had everything I needed to develop negatives at home; David had gifted me a whole beginner’s kit for Christmas, including a dark bag for getting the film onto the spool and into the development tank.
I looked at so many videos on YouTube of people showing how to do that part before I dared to give it a try myself. At some point you just gotta go for it, right?
It was so difficult and frustrating, and I could feel the film buckling and folding and probably getting fingerprints all over it. I didn’t know my hands could get so sweaty! At one point I had to take a break (there was a lot of swearing going on) and come back to it after I had calmed down a little.
But when I finally did get it onto the spool I felt so gosh darn proud of myself. Accomplished even.
The beginner’s kit I had was from Ilford and it contained everything I needed to develop two rolls of black and white film. I read through the manual and looked at videos until I felt fairly confident I could do it, and I also wrote down everything I had to do in list form so I could check it off as I went along.
It was quite easy, no mishaps, and when I was hanging up the developed negatives to dry it felt really good, because I could already see that it had worked. There were pictures on there!

Next step was scanning, and it took me another round of reading and looking at YouTube videos to get the hang of it but at that stage there is no time rush- like there is while developing- so I could take however long I needed.
There were definite signs of the film having been exposed to light, marks from bending and tearing and lots of dust, but I felt so proud of myself, and I really do love these photos.
I think they turned out “perfect”.
Bathroom in the morning.
Coffee and vitamins.
Messy bed.
Water and vitamins.
Really love this one, the texture of it is so wonderful to me.
Great example of when mistakes can make something better than you could have planned for.
Toilet paper in the wind.
I like this one too. A branch of cherry blossom in a brutalist world.
A security guard came up to me as I was taking this photo and told me "you aren't allowed to photograph train stations". I had no clue. But I just pointed to the cherry tree and said "I'm just taking photos of the pretty flowers" and that made him smile and leave me alone.
David with a lot of beard.
I have a lot of photos of this house. There's just something about it that intrigues me. Yes, it's pretty, but it's also something so doll house about that window.
The way America sorts its cords is baffling to me.
And we'll end with another favorite of mine. Magnolias! Also- there's a ladybug in this photo.

Since these photos I have developed a lot more rolls of film, even in color, and I think I've gotten the hang of it. It's certainly not as stressful anymore- a lot of the time it's even meditative- and I am super fast at getting the film onto the spool in the dark now!

I'll continue to share my Developing Journey here as I go. It brings me so much joy.

/Lotta
A self portrait in front of the garden ruin wall.
A post about memories from last year, starts with some thoughts from yesterday, right before the power went out:
Rain days are events in LA. I search through the playlists for something appropriate. I make pho for lunch- you have to take the soup opportunities whenever they show up in this town. The windows fog up and the ceiling lamps are on. Moody blues from the speakers.
I'm reminded that it's a year since we went to Atlanta. I realize this because of how many wild animals that walk by our security cameras during the nights. It was the same this time last year when I checked up on the house from across the country.
Speaking about Atlanta, that is where I really got into film photography.
I had brought along a vintage SLR camera that I wasn't sure I could trust (more on that in a different post) so I decided to buy a little point and shoot camera so I could easily document our neighborhood and the surroundings that had been our home there for 7 months.
Sure, I had taken about a gazillion iPhone photos, but I wanted something that would feel more special. It's such an interesting experience to relocate for a few months like that, to create new everyday routines for a certain period, to start feeling at home- and then leave that life never to come back again. We'll most definitely be in Atlanta again some day, but probably never in that exact house and neighborhood. Not that we wouldn't want to, but what are the odds, right?
It was our home for those 7 months and it will forever be an important part of our lives, so I wanted to be able to remember it like the bubble in time it felt like.
I carried around this little camera, the Pentax PC35AF-M, everywhere I went and snapped photos of everything that caught my eye.
Let's take a look, shall we?
And a warning: there will be A LOT of photos.
I walked to Physical Therapy every week for my back that was behaving stupidly. That walk (and all the houses I passed) was such a huge part of my Atlanta life.
I think this photo is one my absolute favorites from Atlanta. Black and white is so wonderfully moody.
I visited David on set.
I realized I hadn't had enough fried chicken in Atlanta, so one day in the weeks before we went back to LA I walked and bought some.
We had an evening walk route that we loved.
We lived in a fun neighborhood.
The house we rented was quirky, old and wonderful.
I found a park that was almost always empty, that I made into my office. A picnic blanket and a foldable laptop table under this tree was all I needed.
One day when I was sitting there I got the call that a dear friend of mine had died suddenly.
This park and tree became even more important to me after that.
This car caught my eye in color...
...and in black and white film.
On our way home with our Sunday lunch, always from Fred's Meat and Bread.
And we'll end this trip down memory lane with my tree again, now in Black and White.


/Lotta

Camera: Pentax PC35AF-M
Film: Fuji Superia X-TRA 400 and Ilford HP5 Plus
It's been so long I almost feel like I should introduce myself again, but nah, this is my blog and I'm still the same as the last time I was here.
No need for any "what have you done these last few months?" because we all know nothing happens every day is the same and when all this is over blah blah.
Let's skip that.
I wanted to talk about my new hobby. Film photography.
It starts years ago actually, but maybe this is when it takes off for real?
David got me an old Rollop Lipca for my birthday a couple of years ago. I've been wanting to shoot more on film (I took classes in film development when I was in my early twenties and ever since then it's been a dream of sorts).
The Rollop Lipca stood on a shelf for a long time. I didn't understand the manual- it was for a similar camera but not exactly the same- and I worried I would somehow destroy the camera before I even got to use it.
This winter though, I decided to get to know it for real. I took photos around the house and a couple of self portraits.
Last week I had them developed and it was SO exciting receiving the email with a huge zip file with my very first roll of 120mm photos.
Some of them were a bit too shaky, some where just not that great (you have to manually roll the film forward after every shot and it's not completely easy to get it exact, so there was one instant when the top of David's head ended up in the bottom of a photo of my fiddle Leaf Fig). But I did get a few that I actually really like. let's take a look, shall we?
Figuring out how to get the focus sharp for self portraits is definitely something that I have to figure out, but I really love the look of these two self portraits. They feel like great encouragement.
This window is a constant source of inspiration for me. The combination of dark shadows and bright soft light just gets me going.
I love this photo, it came out even better than I expected.
Dramatic backlit monstera, is another one of my things.
This one obviously came out WAY too shaky but I still wanted to share it because this journey is not about being perfect. I'm learning, and the great thing with film photo is that the mistakes can still be charming- I mean it looks warm a cozy as hell, right?!

But now you're saying "The title of this blog post mentions TWO rolls of film, so what's up with that, Lotta?"
Well, I'll tell you in a second, if you'd just CALM DOWN.
Before David and I got married, way back in 2013 we found an old Carena Micro RSD 35mm camera at a flea market in Sweden. We wanted our wedding to be photographed by our friends, with different types of cameras, so we ended up having it documented on a Polaroid, a DSLR, mobile phones of course, and then this little Carena.
The wedding photos turned out great, and I kept using the Carena all through that autumn.
Then in March 2014 I loaded it with a black and white film and brought it along for a weekend in our home town visiting our families.
There was one major thing that happened in March 2014, and that was that our short film Lights Out went viral.
And that happened the exact day as David took this photo of me sitting in my parent's kitchen sofa with sunlight in my eye, completely unknowing of how our lives were about to change.
Dramatic skies over the bridge Munksjöbron in our hometown Jönköping.
This is the gate to the courtyard of the apartment building where my parents and I lived up until I was 9 years old. I must have been feeling nostalgic walking past this place to take a picture.
It's also quite nice to see that my love for photographing places where shadows and light meet has always been there.
I took these three photos in Sund, just outside of Jönköping.
I think this was taken almost exactly a year later, in March 2015, when David's mother, Agnetha, came to visit us in Gothenburg right before we were about to leave to go to LA to make Lights Out- the feature film.

And when we left Sweden I decided to bring the Carena camera with me...
A blurry self portrait of me dancing in the apartment we were finally able to get in LA in 2016 after having to rent airbnb's for a year. We had almost no furniture for the longest time.
And then we bought our house.
And I filled it with plants.
And as usual I fell in love with the light and the shadows.
Somewhere around here I had forgotten about the roll of film and opened up the camera for a quick second before I realized my mistake. So a couple of photos was just white blur, but this one here turned out quite beautiful in all its faded moodiness.
And then we'll end this with another photo of the dramatic monstera- one of my biggest sources of inspiration.

Looking through the photos from this roll of film was quite emotional- our whole journey was in there.
Even though I kept forgetting about the Carena, I always picked it back up again.
Now there is a new roll of film in it and I won't let it sit for years this time.
And as for the Rollop Lipca, our journey together has just started. I feel so inspired, for the first time in a long time.
It makes me wonder, where will we be in 6 years? What moments will I have covered by then?

/Lotta
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When all this is over we will remember the routines we made in these out of the ordinary times.
We will remember the lunches we had on our shaded patio every single day.
How I learned to make Bao, the perfect sushi rice, fresh pasta, Japanese Milkbread, fish tacos, salmon tartines worthy of any fancy restaurant, and how we had Swedish pancakes on Sundays.
We’ll remember how the sun made its way through the ceiling of oak tree branches and created glittering spots of light on the table.
How our collection of serving bowls and platters had to grow substantially because my culinary adventures demanded it- and how fun it was to search for, and then find, the perfect vintage pieces for sauces, salads and potatoes.
We’ll remember the afternoon naps we took on the small patio sofa, entwined ~just so~ to fit. The sound of a leaf blower somewhere in the neighborhood, the wind chimes we’d not been able to locate, the smell of weed drifting over from the girl living next to us, the toddler screaming in the house across, the buzzing of a hummingbird flying by over our heads, and the fighting between the two squirrels that both seemed to have decided they alone deserved to live and reign in these tree tops.
We’ll surely remember the evening walks. Up and down dwindling streets, muffled hellos through face masks to neighbors we didn’t know we had before. The cheery HI! from the celebrity that always seemed so happy to see us even though we’d never met and didn’t know each other.
The street corners where the sun always blinded us if weren’t wearing sunglasses, the hills that raised the pulse, the ugly party house where we once saw an inflatable flamingo that had flown over the wall and onto the street.
We’ll also remember the sandwiches we ate on the balcony after our walks, right when the sun was setting behind the trees. How we could sit out there every single evening and never tire of it.
(We’ll always remember the love we have for our house.)
We’ll remember all the movies we watched (maybe not exactly what they were about- we all know I forget every movie five minutes after the credits has rolled), how it took us forever to choose which 90s action movie we wanted to rewatch that night, and David’s shock when he learned I had not seen a particular film (only to realize 30 minutes into the movie that I had, in fact, already seen it).
How my (already staggering) popcorn consumption went through the roof those months, but movies demand popcorn, and we saw so many; curled up on the sofa, forgetting for a little while that outside roared a pandemic.

The world this year was upside down and the history books will be full of statistics, facts and data that will shape the way we see our future for many many years to come. Injustices came to the surface and people will have too many memories of unfairness and stuff they wish they could forget.
But these things here are for us to choose to remember when the books will not.
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