If you blink you may miss it. Off of a nearly hidden street tucked behind the main street of Tomales you will find a church that totally reminds me of that schoolhouse in The Birds. Behind this church is a small but peaceful cemetery, and you know me…I just had to take a peek and poke around a little bit before heading out to Dillon Beach. To be honest, I didn’t find much that was interesting to my eye but it is very quiet here which was nice.
For some reason I’ve been really loving these colors Fuji Superia has been giving me lately. They’re kind of muted but warm, I cant put my finger on why I love it so much, but I do.
Tucked away behind the cute victorian houses lining Bodega Avenue through Petaluma is a massive gorgeous cemetery. It shares a lot with Petaluma Calvary Cemetery which is a lot newer than Cypress and less pretty, and can definitely be missed if you’re not looking for it. But of course, I always look for it. Little did I know on my second visit (the first one didn’t go too well), that there was a family of quails living on the lot!!!! I’m obsessed with quails the way most hipster chicks are obsessed with owls, and before owls finches. Yep, I went there. Anyway, these cute little guys were scurrying around and I actually managed to snap one before I scared it off by crunching some leaves. So fat! So cute!!!! I could die. And if I do, please bury me here at the cute quail infested cemetery known as Cypress Hill Memorial Park. :)
Sadly this was the only surviving photo from the worlds cheapest roll of film, luckily Bodega is only a 2 hour trip away and I think I can hear the beach calling me back already…and payday is only in 2 weeks :) Lets just hope the weather cooperates.
Let me preface this by saying I already know what you’re going to say in response to this- Val, if you knew better, why did you do it anyway? To which I will respond, I’m basically a f**king dumb-ass who HAS to learn things the VERY HARD way. Moving on.
I love film and film photography, but when it comes down to it I’m very irresponsible and in retrospect I could save myself a LOT of hassle and frustration by just doing things the right way and not the cheaper way or more convenient way, basically I need to start acting like a damned professional if I ever want to be one.
When I first set out to teach my niece photography I bought a 5 pack of really cheap film, knock off brand… Now let me just state that I’ve NEVER EVER had problems using cheapo film before this experience, and her first roll came out just fine, granted we weren’t taking photos of very much variety so the exposures were all about the same on those rolls we developed. I figured hey this film did decently enough before, I’m sure I could rely on this cheap film to get me through my Hoover Dam visit and my most recent visit to Petaluma and Bodega for some cemetery stuff….Oh boy was I wrong. For some reason this film DOES NOT like to be over or underexposed AT ALL. Like, PERIOD. I’ve never encountered film issues like this before and I’ve never ended up with foggy film either. At first I thought it was my shutter getting stuck or something mechanical, but I’ve shot in B&W in between these rolls of color and they have turned out just fine, all properly exposed, none fogged. This film is bipolar or something, I mean it is C H E A P. I honestly don’t know why I thought I could get away with using it, I was just too lazy to go out of my way to go pick up some nicer film, which by the way is becoming scarce as it is and my only in-store options are 200, 400, and 800 speed film in usually one brand. Most stores only carry one brand or the other, or their very own cheap devil-film which I have banned myself from ever touching ever again.
I knew better. I knew I should use better film and yet I used the worst film ever and expected it to be fine, and it wasnt, and I’m pissy because I am THAT stupid and those were all amazing shots that are gone because I pushed the borders on what the film liked. Fickle little film, isnt it?
Its times like this I really hate owning up to my love of film because all you digital freaks out there say “ha told you so.”
In my defense, a drum scan of a frame of film is equivalent to 25 megapixels. Which means a medium format negative would create a mural, in fine detail. You seriously can’t beat that with DSLRs in the same price range as my old ass film camera.
So. Lesson learned. From now on I’m just going to order my film from B&H in bulk and go from there… at least my bodega roll was somewhat salvageable.
Also on the plus side, the photos that they did decide were exposed enough to scan onto the cd, some had some interesting effects and one really creepy one, a weird light issue right over the horizon of the cemetery…all you can see are trees and some scattered headstones…mama like.
This gem of a cemetery can be found in a small town between Lincoln and Christchurch proper, if you’re driving too fast you can almost miss it, but its totally worth battling the kids running around (its next to a school) to photograph it. We kept passing it on our way into the city and every single time we passed it I couldn’t help but stare and scope out this place. On the property is a creepy and quaint chapel which seems to be the south islands bread and butter (creepy chapels), and even a proper rickety entrance complete with a weathered fence. Love it. It took basically my entire trip to NZ to get the nerve to go investigate further and get my photo on and we ended up going on my last day in town, but it was totally worth the wait. See for yourself.