Lomography Wednesday: Camping & Long Beach

lomography instax mini film camping vancouver island long beach (15)I am sharing photos from my Vancouver trip piece by piece, there is something about summer that makes me never feel the need to relive it a second time…that is until Winter hits and the first snow falls and then all I do is look at photos of better and nicer days and pine away. lol. All the instant photographs today were taken with my Instax Mini 90 camera using Pandora film while me and Victor were on our trip.  We really wanted to go camping on Vancouver Island while in town and my friend Brent agreed to drive so we hit the road 2 days into landing in Vancouver. Me and Victor spent the next 6 days camping at various places across the island.

lomography instax mini film camping vancouver island long beach (11)Our second location of the camping trip was Long Beach on the west coast of the island. The sky was blotched out due to the heavy smoke from a forest fire on the north side of the island that happened on the 2nd day of our camping adventure. The lower mainland and the island were having a severe drought so fires are to be expected. We didn’t know until we arrived back to Vancouver that the whole of lower mainland had the same issue with the sky just being a sea of smoke. I remember once having black ash fall from the sky in downtown Vancouver one year after a really bad forest fire which didn’t feel as bizarre to me as this. It’s just what happens when you are in province with so much forest and dry summers. So we didn’t really get a sunny beach while camping but I loved the atmosphere. Below is a double exposure shot of the beach and a few of us hanging out.

lomography instax mini film camping vancouver island long beach (12) lomography instax mini film camping vancouver island long beach (5)lomography instax mini film camping vancouver island long beach (13)Sadly I didn’t get any photos of us wave surfing as a group but we spent most of our day on Long Beach doing that with my friend Zara who joined us there. The water was very cold especially with no sun to warm us up but we had a blast. We also headed down to the beach later that day to watch the sunset together. I hate when I take photos of sunsets with the Instax camera the sun becomes a black dot in the skyline  (like the second photo below).

lomography instax mini film camping vancouver island long beach (6) lomography instax mini film camping vancouver island long beach (14)lomography instax mini film camping vancouver island long beach (10)Due to the drought most of BC had a fire ban which all three of us didn’t even think about before heading out camping. Lucky for us we just happened to have packed a gas stove or it might have been a disaster. However at Long Beach they didn’t have a ban on camps fires due to being so close to the ocean.  We made the biggest fire we could! It was so nice to cook supper over it (man I love anything cooked over a fire) and I must have spent a good hour roasting marshmallows.

lomography instax mini film camping vancouver island long beach (7)Our 3rd camping location was the beautiful island of Newcastle which is just adjacent to Nanaimo’s downtown harbour. When I was little and lived in Nanaimo my school use to go over to Newcastle to hike all the time and even do group camping. I couldn’t wait to take Victor and show him as I have a fondness of the place. Sadly our friend Brent had to get back to work so he dropped us off so we could hop on the small ferry over to the island. The first night we arrived the sun was just setting so we didn’t do much except setup camp and eat a quick supper but the next morning we made the big plan to walk around the entire island. It was intense and it took 5 hours but being able to view the ocean from the cliff sides and even have lunch dangling my feet over a cliff was well worth it.

lomography instax mini film camping vancouver island long beach (2)

Late on our last night of camping my older brother showed up with his girlfriend and we proceeded to show them the coastline of the island. We didn’t get to go very far since me and Victor were exhausted from our own walk but the next morning on our last day we took them up the side of the island that we thought was the most beautiful. Victor and my brother were on the hunt to find the perfect private beach to sit and chill at. We did find in the end after a lot of walking and even scrabbling down the side of rocks, lots of hand hold and finding a path down with the least amount of thorn bushes.  All the photos are us hanging out on the secluded beach and enjoy the morning breeze coming off the ocean. Victor even went for a swim at the end to capitalize on our last hour on Newcastle before we headed back to Vancouver.

lomography instax mini film camping vancouver island long beach (8) lomography instax mini film camping vancouver island long beach (9)lomography instax mini film camping vancouver island long beach (4)lomography instax mini film camping vancouver island long beach (3)I am surprised I didn’t take more photos on our 6 day trip camping but I love the ones I did and have a few more from the whole trip which maybe I’ll share in a few weeks’ time.

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A Guide to Fujifilm Instax Mini Film!

fujifilm instax mini film guide (8)I really wanted to make a guide to Fujifilm instax mini film because it’s the only instant film on the the market for modern devices and it keeps getting more and more popular.  Plus I’m a little obsessed with my own Instax Mini 90 at the moment. This guide will cover where to buy, the best prices and what’s available for you if you wanted to get into modern instant photography.
*Quick note this guide is made by someone in Canada so the prices are in Canadian dollars and some of the stores are Canadian ( I’ve included plenty of online sites with international shipping).

What’s compatible with Fujifilm Instax Mini Film:

Instax Mini 7, 7s, 8, 10, 20, 25, 30, 50, 50s, 55, and 90 Neo Classic by Fujifilm. It can also be used for other non-Fujifilm cameras like Lomo’Instant and Belair Instant. As well it works with several camera backs like Diana Instant Back and LC-A Instant Back and the new Fuji Instax Share Printer.

fujifilm instax mini film guide  (2)Where to buy online: Amazon, B&H, Futureshop/Bestbuy (and more)
Where to buy in person: Urban Outfitters, dugstores or camera stores
Average price:$13-20 (per double pack / 20 exposures)

The first option available and most common type of film to find is the white version. It comes in either a single pack of 10, or a double pack of 20 exposures however the single pack is not very common so going forward prices refer to the double pack. Locally it can be found at camera stores or drug stores but it seems to be rarer these days to see it anywhere beside lomography focused camera stores and Urban Outfitters (who charge extra on all their film) In person the price is $20-$25 depending on the store so this film is best to pick up online. Online store fronts like Amazon, electronic stores, not to mention Walmart and other similar stores  carry this film. The catch is of course finding a store that offers free shipping, which is pretty easy nowadays. The price online is almost always $20 but like any store there can be sales once and awhile. The film is also available at online camera stores like B&H, Amazon, Black’s….

Recommendation:

Amazon / B&H  Amazon is the clear winner for me, not only do they offer bundles (50exposures+) but I’ve noticed the film goes on sale every few weeks without fail down to $14. Unlike other online stores Amazon seems to follow predictable sales patterns when it comes to instax film and the free shipping for orders over $25 usually means I get my film in 2 days. B&H does win the price war at $14 regular price, and holds the title for the only store I’ve found instax film lower than $19 when not on sale so for Americans this is really a great place to buy. Sadly if you aren’t in America that price drop doesn’t matter much after shipping frees but they do ship internationally so for anyone who can’t get instax film in your country for $20 it is a great option.

fujifilm instax mini film copyWhere to buy online: B&H, Amazon, Staples, The Source (and more)
Where to buy in person: Urban Outfitters and camera stores
Average price:$12-13

Instax Mini Rainbow film is the 2nd most common type of instax film to find in person or online, it’s found almost everywhere that sells the regular film.  It comes in a individual pack of 10 exposures and costs around $12.  Besides Rainbow the other North American theme packs include: Halloween/Christmas. B&H sells the Halloween theme pack year around but only offers the Christmas around Fall. Other stores may occasional have the other theme packs but usually do not keep stock.

Recommnedation: 

For Rainbow – anywhere you can find it! This film is almost universally the same price give or take $1. If you want the holiday theme packs, the best place is B&H who keep them in stock and offer the great price of $12. As well they usually are the first place to offer any new types of theme packs that come out.

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