Archives: Film Photography

New Direction

imagePhotograph by Nathan Michael

What’s up FOLLY folks!? It’s that magical time in my life where I take the consistent and progressive vibe we’ve been spreading year after year and challenge myself to dive deep into the art that is photography. To be completely honest with you, I’ve become comfortable in my day to day capturing’s therefore lacking the drive to push my personal limits and progress through trial and fire.

I’m just not satisfied with where I’m at.

I’m taking a step back to explore and redefine my process outside of the bicycle bubble that is FOLLY. Storytelling, ride recaps, product reviews, and general shrednanigans will still be captured here as well as on @createfolly via Instagram, but I want to rethink how I shoot under a completely different umbrella as myself, with no agenda for or against products and bicycle life.

I hope you’ll follow along:


Instagram: @matttpittman


Shooting With The Canonet QL17 GIII

Destructed BuildingWhy film? There are several different ways to capture the vibe for less cost, less effort, less knowledge.

It’s the journey that excites me. I shoot in the hope that I know what the hell I’m doing with each shutters click, putting past experiences to use with the current roll I’m shooting, capturing some thing the world may have never seen.

I recently picked up a Canon Canonet QL17 GIII. I had read some reviews defining its excellence, found one for a good price and picked it up (Editors note: For all that found theirs for the $5 and $10 range… I’m jealous).

These shots are personally interesting on a couple different levels that I won’t bore you with; but the fact that I shot using the Canonet and Kodak Ektar 100 for the first time with these results gets me amped!

It’s really crazy though… when you hit the Canonet QL17’s shutter release for the first time you’ll think the camera is busted. It makes a super weak “click” that gives you no confidence in the camera at all.

At this point I’m on edge because I’m shooting odd subjects with film that I have no clue how it will react and using a tool that seems to be “malfunctioning”. The thoughts that went through my head was that of frustration and a waste of funds; BUT… I didn’t stop. I had done my research. I have dozens of rolls behind me. I knew I could push forward with the hope that if only one shot made it I was successful. I knew I could hope in that.

Ride x Create. A simple idea that has taken Kyle and I this far. You will fail. You will want to give up. Know that if you are at that point you are nailing it. Push on. Make things happen that inspire you and those around you.51770024On The GlassLeaned Over BackHelmet on BikeSocksHill TopRide x Create

Black x White Emotion

226200012857002728570004Kyle look downMy film photography efforts are taking a turn for all things black x white. After reading Ed Templeton’s recent interview on Leica’s blog, I have been inspired to better capture life in a “timeless quality”. Although I’ve only shot two rolls of BxW, they have a depth that resonate with me. I see this as a challenge; more so respecting the feel each image will have. I believe capturing images in black x white film will enhance the emotion of the shot, and that’s pretty powerful.

I’ve Been Abducted

28570025The 2015 Cannondale SuperSix Evo is the first road bike I’ve owned. It has been absolutely mind blowing to call it my own. As you can tell, I don’t own road pedals/shoes for it yet. This problem will be solved shortly.

So… this is a race bike right? From my minimal knowledge of what a race bike is, they are supposed to be stiff, uncomfortable, and aggressive. Cannondale nailed the stiff and aggressive part (both in the best ways) but left out uncomfortable. Although my stem is set up high, so the ride should be a bit more lenient, I figured this set up would still leave me beat down after a dozen miles or so. It was quite the opposite actually. I rode further, faster, longer; with more time in the drops than expected. 28570020I’ve been riding SRAM Red for a couple years now and it has been amazing! When I found out the Hi-Mod 2 only came in Shimano Dura-Ace I hesitated for half of a second. I knew I wasn’t going to be disappointed, but didn’t realized how much I was going to love Dura-Ace!

When I gripped the Dura-Ace hoods for the first time it was instant love! They are stunning, extremely well put together, and function like a freaking dream! For all that have been riding these amazing levers, you very well know what I’m talking about. For any thinking of switching over from SRAM… don’t hesitate!! Keep in mind that I love SRAM Red goodness on all levels. That should speak to my new found expressed love of Dura-Ace.    2857002328570014I hope you’ve enjoyed my short write up on this amazing blacked out UFO. It will continue to abduct me for many morning sun rises, afternoon hill climbing sessions, and evening sun sets. Big THANK YOU to Blevins Bicycle Co. for carrying rad brands like Cannondale! Thank you Matthew Blevins for building me such a great machine!

Follow along on our Instagram for pre/during/post ride shots of each one of my outings. Some are more visually pleasing than others but my hope is to encourage you fine folks to explore via two wheels as much as humanly possible.

**For a full photo recap on this beautiful machine, go to FOLLY x FILM. I hope you enjoy!


Wheeler Ride With Davis x Greg

2238001222380014Riding the Wheeler Wildlife Refuge is always fun. It’s more fun when you’re riding with these two dudes. I’ve been riding with Davis for many moons, but this was the first time riding with Greg. Greg knew a few routes on the Refuge I’d never ridden that nailed it!

Why am I posting these two shots? They are the first film ride x shoot I’ve done. My Yashica FX-3 Super is fully mechanical. I did my best to preemptively measure the distance I’d shoot these shots at and snap away. They turned out way better than I thought they would.

Go to FOLLY x FILM to check out more.

I’ll Never Wash My Hand

imageSo, it went down like this…

I emailed John Watson the week before I was gonna be in Austin letting him know I would love to get together for a ride x shoot sesh. He politely responded asking which bike I was gonna bring; The FaTRoB of course. Looked up airfare with a bicicleta and shook my head. So I decided to bring my board, cruise around, maybe just grabbing a drink with John, high five, and scoot about my business. Unfortunately John was tied up, our schedule got very tight, and we were gonna miss each other.

Kyle and I had just gotten to Austin, ate lunch, and started to cruise the street. Stopped at this one spot with busted signs to see if any good shots presented themselves when two swift moving hooligans came zipping around the street corner.

It was quite funny when I realized who it was. I noticed Lauren first, then John on his bitchin Rosko mountain whip. As they approach I say softly “Hey John, it’s Matt from FOLLY”. John and Lauren both stop seeming a bit confused, then I proceed to say “what’s up dude! This is random”, shake his hand properly introducing myself.

Lauren pedals about her way after John tells her he’ll be at the house in a second. We chat for a few minutes about his new workspace and that he’s about to depart to Portland for the AWOL x Poler reveal. Feeling that he’s got a lot to accomplish, like pack a bike and get his junk together for the trip, I ask if I can take a few shots before he leaves. He’s down of course, snap, snap… snap, “it’s nice to meet you in person man”, and away John went.

Why am I telling you this story? Not Sure really, other than I’m super amped on how this shot turned out.

The sixth post I posted on the blog at the very beginning of FOLLY identified John as an authority in the cycling world. His work has inspired me personally and professionally. It’s never a bad idea to show appreciation and maybe that’s what this is, but what I know without a shadow of a doubt is that someone needs to feed John a double cheese burger ASAP. That man is too skinny!

Cheers! I hope you enjoyed reading.


Why Not Film?

imageI mean seriously… why not? There are a billion solid affordable film cameras to choose from. This was shot with a cheap Vivitar PS:30 that you could find for less than $10! It was a good place to start understanding the value of film vs. digi, how light will be captured differently, and to be confident in what you are shooting with no instant gratification.

Since using the Vivitar I’ve moved on to the Canon ELAN 7E, that I wasn’t hugely impressed with, and now a Yashica FX-3 Super 2000 (fully mechanical) that I LOVE (more on that after I get a few rolls processed)!!

Check out the digi version of the shot above (iPhone x VSCO) to see what I’m talking about. Is one shot/version better than the other? I don’t know… I love them both, but that’s why I took the shot to begin with. My goal is to encourage you fine folks to explore and use film photography to capture what you find.

**OH and… I don’t edit film photos… if the shot sucked then it encourages me to get better! I try to remember my intent with a roll, take a few notes as I’m shooting, and if the outcome isn’t what I was going for then I tweak a few settings in similar lighting situations and push on.

Consistent x Progressive


Damian Riehl // Film Photography

Damian RiehlDamian Riehl1Damian Riehl2Just went over and checked out Damian Riehl’s site. So. GNARLY!! Big inspiration to grow as a film photography. Above are the top 3 photos that I’m in love with.

Why do I dive deep into Damian’s work?

“I am self taught, choosing to cut my teeth with fully mechanical film photography. That and my longtime job as a bicycle messenger have been perfect as the vehicles to get me to where I am. I started out shooting for myself, but I have grown to love sharing what I do with others. My style as I see it is obvious and to the point, born from my photographic interests in architecture(order, form, balance, harmony, and cleanliness bordering on standardized perfection) and skateboarding(raw, free flowing and a bit more individualistic, yet very under control). One part documentary and one part artistic expression, often at the same time, and without overpowering the subject, but adding to its presentation. I feel a respect to whatever I shoot and always hope to portray it in the most palatable manner possible.”

That’s why…

Go get Riehl!! Happy Friday. Take advantage of your day. Cheers!