At KO, 70% of students visit Paraguay as part of the Team Tobati community service trip. Most students document their trip using cellphone cameras or digital cameras, but senior Taline Norsigian decided to raise the bar and experiment with a film camera. She tried out both black and white and colored film in her 35mm camera. With limited space to bring photography equipment on the trip, Taline decided to bring a film camera and learn the process of developing film. “I was expecting to take all of the photos and then send them to get developed, but with Mr. Scranton’s help I was able to develop all the film myself,” she said.
Taline’s interest in photography started at a young age with photos of nature; then, in high school she did an independent study junior year on photography. As a senior, documenting her trip to Tobati on film was the next step in Taline’s photography journey at KO. The photographs capture her, her trip and work group in Tobati.
Processing and developing film is very time-consuming. It can take seven minutes to develop a single photo. “It took a lot of experimenting, but in the end I developed 250 photos from the trip,” Taline said. The photos also had to be scanned and some needed additional editing to remove dust particles from the images. “Taline’s work ethic is tireless, and she is very resilient because the work process is slow and takes a lot of patience,” photography teacher Greg Scranton said.
To develop the pictures, the film has to be exposed to special film chemistry to be ready for print, which takes 30 minutes. The print process is also time-consuming because no two images need the same exposure time and Taline had to experiment with the exposure time for each photo. In the end, it could take about an hour to get three good negatives. Film is extremely sensitive and can react to different temperatures, “Mr. Garcia was the best on the trip, he let me store my film in his air conditioned room, so it wouldn’t get damaged, which was really nice of him!” Taline said.
Overall, Taline enjoyed the film project. “It was really fun to develop the film because it was an opportunity to relive all the fun moments on the trip and learn along the way,” she said.