Single use photographic sensors

Alessandro Lemser
6 min readJun 23, 2019

Well, the single use may not be entirely true, once you can do double exposures. This story is about enjoying 35mm film photograph.

Photo 1 — Scan of a gelatin silver print from Foma ISO 100 35mm negative

The above picture was taken in Paraty, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. There is nothing special in the composition, however, it was a major achievement in my 35mm film photography journey. The photo was taken with Foma ISO 100 BW negative film and it has been processed at home, from the negative to the enlargement in photography paper in a dark room, or better saying, my dark bathroom. It has zero digital processing, other than the cheap flatbed scanner I have used to scan the print.

But why? Why, with all the technology today, one still has all the inconvenience of take photos with 35mm film? Well, I guess that everyone that does it has it's own reasons. There are common sense regarding some aspects of the analogue format. I will not enumerate any aspect here, as the reader may find them in abundance in a web search, along side with endless debates over it. Instead, I will try to give the reasons I enjoy it.

Photo 2 — Scan of a gelatin silver print from Kodak BW400CN (processed in C-41 lab), enlarged at home.

I have to say that I love computers and I’m proud to be a Software Engineer. However, I prefer not to continue to work on a computer while doing hobbies. I remember being very excited with my first digital camera. But, the excitement last until I had to load more than 3 thousand photos from a trip into a computer. To deal with things like convert from RAW to JPEG, and to decide to keep or not to keep the RAW. Or, why converting to JPEG, as people say that good is to shoot RAW. A few months after that, I started to look into film, and got the pictures I have mentioned above.

Photo 3 — Digital capture with my first digital camera in Ushuaia, AR

The above photo was taken with my first cropped sensor digital camera, from the trip I have mentioned earlier.

Well, time has passed and I've managed to be more selective with digital. I have learned more, and started to do less post processing, putting more effort on the actual picture taken. But, after some time, I have realized that I…

Alessandro Lemser

Engineering Manager at Toast. I’m passionate about creating a productive, inclusive and safe environment for people to work.