Splendour in the Grass

This July, for the first time, I attended Splendour in the Grass. Armed with a simple set up; my Contax G1 and a handful of film my aim was to document the journey of music, fun and memories. 

We couldn’t have asked for better weather over the weekend. Our group of nine stayed in an Airbnb just north of Byron and together we made the daily pilgrimage onsite. We’d wake up late, start drinking early and then hop on a bus in. This all seems like a fairly standard Australian festival ritual but it’s one I’ve never known. I started doing media work at festivals in 2013, so while I’ve always enjoyed the experiences I’ve had, they’ve been a lot more structured and fast paced.

As soon as I landed my media pass for this year’s festival I knew I wanted to keep my set up really simple and fortunately this time around I had the freedom to. In the last 12 months I’ve bought and sold a few different 35mm film bodies in search of one that felt comfy for me. Just a week before Splendour my Contax G1 came in the mail and I’m very happy to say I’ve found the camera I was looking for! I scored a decent deal on eBay with a Carl Zeiss 45mm f/2 Planar lens. Auto focus on a film body is something I’ve never experienced much of, and while the G1 is often downplayed for having sluggish AF it’s held up to my expectations! 

My rolls from Splendour were also my first ever that I’ve scanned myself. I haven’t been overly satisfied with past images I’ve had scanned locally in Newcastle, so these were all scanned with the help of my boyfriend Charlie on his Epson V800 flatbed scanner.

The process of hand scanning at home isn’t quite as complicated as I’d thought it would be, and much like manually processing film (which I’ve done in the past, not for these rolls) I find the whole thing pretty relaxing and rewarding. As you can see these negs were pretty dusty (I thought I did a good job of air-puffing them!) but I guess it adds to the charm. 

For future I’m definitely going to try and push myself to shoot more rolls during events like this. Over the whole weekend I finished a half-shot roll of Portra 400, then moved on to Fuji PRO 400H (both pushed to 800) and finally onto a roll of Agfa Vista 400. That was my first time shooting 400H and I definitely didn’t like it as much as Portra. In the end I’m glad I decided to push the film because it made having just one body slightly less challenging. What else will I do differently next time? Invest in a flash. In fact, there’s one currently sitting in my basket on eBay right now! 

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