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How Salvation Mountain Saved My Film Photography!

March 13, 2019

Getting out of my comfort zone and strictly shooting film at Salvation Mountain may have saved my love for film and gave me an understanding of film photography.  To find one's self, some people go on retreats.  Some go on social media or technology detoxes.  Whatever the personal process of your spiritual journey, it's required to take yourself out of your element.  I believe that in order to find yourself (and truly find yourself) you first have to make yourself a little uncomfortable.  To see what you're made of, to test yourself.  But, you have to get out of your comfort zone.  This is how Salvation Mountain took me out of my element saved film photography for me.  


After purchasing the Nikon Z7 late last year, I started to settle into a bubble of comfort.  My comfort zone for the past few months has been shooting strictly digital.  Unfortunately, digital after a while, started to get stale and boring.  I can't tell you what made me decide to pick up my film camera but, after first fighting with myself, I listened to that voice in my head and decided that from this point on I will exclusively shoot portraits on film.  Effectively, taking myself out of my comfort zone.  But of course, nothing is ever official unless you post it on social media right?  So naturally, I tweeted my decision! 


Almost like fate, a couple of days after deciding to take that leap, a co-worker "asked" me (I actually kind of invited myself) if I would like to go on Salvation Mountain field trip with his class.  I took this opportunity to not only cross Salvation Mountain off of my bucket list but, as a no pressure test of getting back into film photography.  So, Nikon F100 in tow, myself, as well as my two co-workers, were off to BF nowhere!


When I was preparing for my trip I told myself I am only going to shoot in film and that's it! No, digital, that included my phone!  Now, let me be completely transparent here.  I did bring my Z7 as a security blanket in case I found myself completely out of my element.  However, to my complete surprise, I found myself not wanting to use my digital camera and sticking to my film camera.  One thing that film does is, it limits your options.  There was something freeing about loading film and knowing that I only have about 36 frames that I'll be able to use.  As well as, knowing my post process would be similar from frame to frame because of the way the roll is chemically treated.  This made me actually take a little more care in when I decide to press the shutter.  It made me pay more attention to what was actually in the frame.  Basically, shooting on film made me go back to the basics.  Finally, there is just a feeling that you get when you are shooting on film that is literally unexplainable but, the best feeling in the world!  I was thinking of doing a whole post on my feelings on Digital vs Film Photography on a later date! If that is something that you are interested in reading, comment below or hit me up on Twitter!





I feel like sometimes you have to come out of yourself to get a better perspective on your life.  Stepping out of your comfort zone is a great way of doing that.  Me going to Salvation Mountain and only shooting on film was definitely my way of doing just that.  And because I was willing to explore my options I was able to find an aspect of my life that I love and, that I can add to my arsenal of passions.


I would love to hear about a time that you stepped out of your comfort zone and learned something about yourself! Comment below or tweet me some of your stories!  I promise I will read all of them.  The good, bad, and the ugly!  You have my attention!





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