Canyon Lake, Texas

November 28, 2023

After a few rolls processed with this new film camera – I’m learning things!

1. People love the look of film!

For me, this photo (of my wife) from our recent trip to Canyon Lake evokes a strong emotional response. I immediately feels like I’m looking at a fond yet distant past, in spite of this occurring just days ago.

My wife standing in front of a cabin

“Damn grandma, you were actually cool” vibes

Film holds incredible nostalgic power. When sharing photos to different group chats, the response was immediate and positive.

2. I’m taking photos that I wouldn't have otherwise

The joy and novelty of the process compels me to take photos at times when using an iPhone would’ve been a bore.

3. The process is simpler – no need to obsess over details

Shooting with a digital camera, my inclination is to strive for technical excellence even if it doesn't matter.

This means shooting ten versions of the same photo in RAW and spending twenty minutes deciding which to keep. This is followed by an hour of hemming and hawing over which edit I like, whether the edit is consistent with the album, then throwing it out and starting over.

The result is photos that never see daylight, instead lurking in the abyss of Lightroom. (Right now, I’m sitting on a treasure trove of photos from a summer trip to Utah that nobody has seen.)

Sure, in the world of film you have to drive to a lab and wait a few hours. But I’m finding that process shorter and less stressful than the above.

The lack of choice, and general constraint of film is freeing.

I’m nowhere near selling my fancy new Nikon Zf – but it’s a sure bet that this shitty plastic camera will play a big role in the new year.

Here are a few more from Canyon Lake. My wife and I decided to escape here on a three-day trip over Thanksgiving – a getaway for the two of us (and our pup, who had undergone surgery weeks earlier after eating an acorn).

As we quickly discovered, most parks in Canyon Lake are closed in November and December, in spite of good weather. That didn’t matter to us – we were looking for something low-key and restorative; having little to do was okay with us.

Canyon Lake in the distance, with some trees and greenery in the foreground

The view from our Airbnb

A dog looking at some geese

This idiot had never seen a goose before

My wife and dog sitting in front of a coffee shop
Me training my dog

Painfully adorable, I know

My dog at an overlook, his ears carried by the wind
A dock that is atop dry land due to low water levels in the lake
A Subaru surrounded by some trees, and light leaking through