views of oahu on film

As I mentioned before, I decided to take all of my travel photos of Hawaii on either film or my iPhone. I’m happy to report that all of my film turned out photos! Since I had to reseal the Canon AT-1 because of a light leak that was so bad it destroyed multiple frames, and because I chose to reseal it myself, I was a little worried that I would get this film processed and half of it would be unusable. That being said, I went through my phases that seem to be my usual pattern with any film I shoot:

1) Hooray! Photos! Wow, I can’t believe they came out and they’re so vivid! …
2) What. Why did I take that picture? These are really terrible. …
3) Well, on second thought they aren’t terrible. Look, these ones are pretty good actually. And I did this on film! :)

I chose to shoot the entire trip on Kodak Ektar 100. This film has never disappointed me, and I had quite a few rolls of it already. If I was going to be able to pull off an entire spectrum of vacation times (lighting) and locations (lighting) – the only way I trusted myself to try was with this Ektar. I’ve been amazed by how it performs in low light, and of course the ISO100 is great in the bright light of a beach. Ironically, most of my shooting ended up being either early in the morning or early evening, so almost every frame was shot with a 1/60 shutter speed. I refused to go any slower, no matter if my light meter showed this would leave me a little underexposed – trusting the Ektar and its beautiful grain to handle this issue in processing. I would rather have a slightly darker image than a blurry, unusable one. That’s just my personal preference and a choice I made at the beginning of the trip when I committed to not pulling out the big MarkIII. No matter what.

This shot is quite grainy, but it doesn’t bother me. It’s a moment caught in time and the feel of nostalgia I get from a grainy photo outweighs the crisp clarity I may have achieved at this spot with digital. I notice that in most cases, this camera/lens does not handle a broad perspective of landscape in the distance very well. The focus is always a bit mushy, but with a 50mm lens I guess it makes sense that it performs better with subjects a bit closer.

I had noticed before that Ektar handles reds beautifully. They really “pop,” but I’m seeing through these photos that the greens and blues in Ektar can be really wonderful as well. The above photos are all from the North Shore.

We were some of the last people walking around the Polynesian Cultural Center as the sun set, and it was a great opportunity to catch some cool shots of their landscaping. They have a lot of mini “village” settings to show what life was like on different islands throughout the Pacific. I loved walking around and snapping photos without contending with crowds of people. It rained as we were entering too, so that helped scare quite a few people inside. :)

This was the best sunset we saw in Hawaii. Personally, I don’t think anything compares to the crazy skies we get here in my home state of Montana, but the ocean certainly adds another element of beauty. The colors on the water out-do the sky, and happily, film captures water wonderfully. You’ll see this even more in my next post!



  1. Beautiful photos! Did you get to visit any other common tourist attractions ( besides Polynesian Cultural Center?

    • Thank you! We didn’t really hit any other common tourist spots, but spent our time relaxing up on the North Shore – hanging out mostly in Hale’iwa and Kahuku. :)

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