What not to do.

I had the great idea to start shooting in film last night at Malcolm’s super late birthday dinner. Due to a busy schedule, the reservation was set for 9:30 pm. Hey! We were eating like the French do! Super late. Unless you’re the French Soccer Team – then you can eat whenever you want, because you’re not playing football against the Norwegian team, is all I’m saying.

But enough about the French team’s situation. I had a situation myself to deal with. I wasn’t a total bonehead. I brought my digital camera with me. I fact, I loaded up my Nikon with a card I pulled out of my camera case without looking at it. I had my film camera and my backup digital camera (at one point, both around my neck simultaneously) at the restaurant – feeling very proud of myself and all my photographic bravery.

I snapped photos of the birthday boy and all the dinner festivities with the silly blue camera and the old fashioned flash, not really sure if I was really winding the thing right or not. But I decided to take out my Nikon once the cake arrived – which was funny because Malcolm had no idea that was going to happen and thought the waitress was being rude and rushing us out by “resetting the table”. He thought the plates and forks they were putting on the table were for the next guests. Heeeheee! In the whole time I’ve known Malcolm, I’ve never seen him get snippy, but here he was, on his birthday, getting a little testy. This was the perfect time for me to take photos of him! I clicked 1 photo and then my camera stopped working. I checked the message on the LCD screen to see this:


What? I took 1 photo. How did that happen? I pulled the memory card out and looked at it. Apparently a 16 M card can only handle 1 photo when shooting in high resolution. I just learned that at that moment. So, I changed the settings on my camera and was able to take 2 photos. I would take a photo and if I didn’t like it, delete it. Here are the only two digital photos I kept from the evening.

Actually, this first one is a keeper. At the time I took the picture, the whole restaurant joined in with us singing Happy Birthday to Malcolm. It was totally spontaneous on the other guests’ part. So. Fun.

For my other photo, I was determined to get the Jello in somehow. And I did.

This is Tyler and his girlfriend, Ashley, looking lovingly at the little Jello squares. Heh. I certainly Forrest Gumped those 2 photos.

However, this may be where my luck ended. Once I got home, I figured I didn’t want to ask Mike how to wind the film out of the camera, did it myself, and opened up the back of the camera to find the film hadn’t been wound at all. I then closed the back of the camera, handed it over to Mike and went to bed, feeling terribly sorry for myself.

I took the roll of film to be developed today, explaining my film faux pas. The person at the counter said it’s possible that some of the photos I took may be okay despite being exposed to the light – just not the section that was saw the light of my craft room. I’ll find out on Monday when my photos/photo/strip of nothing will be available for me to pick up.

Things I learned from this scenario:

1) I need to read the manual for the film camera. I also need to watch more youtube videos on how to work the Diana+. I also need to ask for help instead of just assuming I can figure it out on the fly. I’m not sure at all how forgiving film can be. I’m assuming it’s not.

2) Check the memory card before I put it in the camera next time.

And I’m throwing away that 16M card immediately.


  1. Pamela S says:

    What a great post!! Sounds like the party was a great success and everyone had a fun time, including the other guests at the restaurant! About the memory card – hey, we live, we learn. I think a lot of us do things on the fly without reading the manual, sometimes its the best way to learn. But I’m with you – I need to review my new camera’s manual more closely to learn the tricky manual settings so I don’t miss any opportunities ~ Love the jello inclusion, too!!

  2. Leah says:

    Did I tell you about the time I was flying over Mount St. Hellens shortly after she blew her cork, sitting beside my husband who did photography school and wanted to do the camera work, taking lots of photos, and when we get to Mexico, my husband goes to lovingly take the film out the camera only to find no film?

    I think you dun good. You got photos!

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