Lake Garda, Revisited. by Simeon Smith

No, unfortunately I haven’t been back to Italy in the past few weeks, but there’s this weird thing with experimenting with plastic film cameras, and that is that sometimes the experiments don’t work and instead of throwing away the images, you shrug, and clip them into a binder with the rest of your negatives, for no reason whatsoever.

And years later come across them and think - I wonder what is actually ON those negatives.


I went to Lake Garda 3 years ago, and took a Holga 120TLR, which I since swapped for a bog standard Holga 120N (If it ain’t broke, don’t add a waist-level viewfinder), and a Lomography La Sardina 35mm point and shoot. 

The Holga shots came out beautifully, so beautifully in fact that one of them was selected by my Kickstarter backers to be the print they received with my book “Every Shot Matters”. 


The La Sardina photos, though, didn’t really come out at all. I’d found a batch of expired Boots iso400 colour film and thought it’d suit the Sardina really well, but it was crazy sunny and bright every day in Italy, and the Sardina is fixed at f8. So the negatives mostly came out overexposed, and because the film base had darkened so much in the 15-odd years since it had expired, the automatic scanner at Neil’s place didn’t take them. Also, the negatives were scratched to high hell for some reason, maybe old brittle glue around the edges of the old canisters? My home scanner, also couldn’t pick up the images, and holding them up to a light revealed a very sorry sight indeed, so I put the negatives  away and forgot about them. 

With the Holga shots coming out so very well, I wasn’t in the mood for a salvage job on some shitty negatives.


Fast-forward 3 years. 

Today it has been drizzly. I’m home alone with the kids, who haven’t wanted to do anything much apart from watch Youtube and play card games. We tidied the house, we popped out in the drizzle to run a couple of errands. 

You know the kind of Saturday. 


The perfect Saturday to spend painstakingly masking off each individual frame that you think might work from ruined negatives from a trip you took 3 years ago. 

I hope you enjoy the images as much as I’ve enjoyed revisiting Garda. 

All photos shot to shitty and very-expired Boots brand colour film on a Lomography La Sardina.

Holland On Film by Simeon Smith

Shot to film on my 1938 Leica IIIa. 

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Diana Day 2018 by Simeon Smith

It's no secret I love plastic cameras. So when Denise ( got in touch asking me to help with some graphics for Diana Day 2018 I jumped at the opportunity. 

Here's the plan: 

  1. Grab a camera; A plastic Diana Camera, or clone. 
  2. Shoot some film with it on August 4th.
  3. Upload the images during the rest of the month.
  4. Tag your images #DianaDay 

This is something run by the community for the community, for fun. Not for glory or prestige, thought there's plenty of that too, but FUN is at the heart of this event. 

Join in! 

(and if you don't have a Diana camera and are local, let me lend you one)

(and yes, that's my adorkable 4 year old in his Buzz Lightyear PJs)

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26 Weeks Camera Challenge #26: Enjoy. by Simeon Smith


It’s finished.

You’ve completed a photography course, and completed a project at the end of it.

Your art is out there.

Enjoy the feeling.

Relax, and make the most of the post-project lull. Reflect on your work, what you would do differently next time, what you’d tell yourself if you could go back 6 months. 


What next?

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26 Weeks Camera Challenge #25: The Project, Deliver by Simeon Smith


Deliver your project.

There’s not much more I can say, other than to encourage you that this is the hardest part.

My dark night of the soul was stuffing envelopes following my Kickstarter funding. Sitting at home, planning, editing, promoting… That’s all in your comfort zone, and if not, you can psych yourself up, and get it over and done with as soon as possible. Framing and printing photos and the self-doubt that that brings, that’s hard. Laying out and printing a zine, that’s hard. making things happen takes a lot of perseverance and a healthy amount of “I just need to get it done.” At some point you’re going to need to admit to yourself that your work, your project, is as good as it’s going to get, and it’s time to make it happen. 


  1. How good is good enough?
  2. How can we combat self-doubt?
  3. What has your artistic dark night of the soul been?

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