Scenes from a Beach / by Brian Surguine

Silver Beach, Saint Joseph MI

Silver Beach, Saint Joseph MI

Last summer, my friend Blaine Siesser lent me his Mamiya RB67 and said: "go forth and shoot film." (Not really, but the gesture essentially boiled down to that.) With a roll of Ektar 100 in hand, I set off - and had no idea what to do.

By the time I got around to taking pictures, the digital revolution was firmly underway. My exposure to film (ha) was limited to a few disposable cameras, my dad's old Olympus OM-1, and some prints my dad had made sitting around the house. Film was scary, because it was unfamiliar. Each exposure with a 6x7 format camera costs about $1, and that doesn't include developing, scanning, and the camera itself. And now I had to take a picture without the security of checking it on a screen after, or working on it in Lightroom.

St. Joseph Pier, south side. I go for a walk here whenever I get a chance.

St. Joseph Pier, south side. I go for a walk here whenever I get a chance.

Today, I got my scans back after finally sending in a couple of rolls for developing. I have to say: I don't know why I was so worried. Even with Ektar, which is more finicky with exposure than other color negatives like 400H and Portra, the scans look wonderful.

Marsie in summer garb. That focus fall-off... *unintelligible noises*

Marsie in summer garb. That focus fall-off... *unintelligible noises*

I plan to shoot a lot more film this year. Most of it will probably be 6x6 or 645 format, but I really hope to shoot 6x7 again soon. There's something about 6x7 that speaks to me - the detail, the way focus falls off, the beautiful rendering on a large negative - it's very alluring.

Anyone know this guy? I'd love to send him this picture.

Anyone know this guy? I'd love to send him this picture.

All of these pictures were taken last summer, on Silver Beach in Saint Joseph Michigan.