Film frenzy

A new hobby encourages senior to look at the little things

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Photo contributed by Cooper Heaton

Senior Cooper Heaton is standing in a park in Colorado called “Garden of the Gods.” There, he practiced taking film photos.

The summer after eighth grade, senior Cooper Heaton was given a vintage camera. From that moment on, Heaton has fallen in love with film cameras and the art of photography.

“Someone gave me a camera, an old vintage camera.” Heaton said “And that’s kind of how it all started.”

Photography has been a big part of Heaton’s life for the last four years. But for him, the final result is nothing compared to the journey it took to get there and all he has been able to take away from this experience.

Getting a camera in the first place sparked his interest and made him want to learn more about photography and how to use the camera. But before he had a camera in his hands, he would enjoy taking pictures of things that caught his eye on his phone. 

His sister, junior Audrey Heaton, says that she noticed Heaton had a great sense of perception when they were on the road or even just observing scenery nearby. But once he started to pursue photography, he began to look into even the most simple things to photograph such as electrical poles and trees.

“He started noticing things more,” Audrey said. “We would be in the car, and he’d notice things and want to go back and see them again.”

Senior Lucas Carfiro, one of Heaton’s closest friends, says that Heaton looks for the little details in everyday life. If he sees something he likes, he will take a picture on his phone to remember it. 

As Heaton was starting out, his family flooded him with support by helping him find picture-perfect places and driving him to those locations. His father even bought him a camera during freshman year because of his interest. 

Carfiro says that he tries his best to support Heaton by sharing his pictures on social media. Similar to Carfiro, Audrey says she goes out of her way to look for locations for him.

Currently, Heaton has three film cameras, the Yashica Electro 35, Canon EOS Rebel 2 and a Minolta SRT 102. Right now, Heaton has been using his Yashica Electro 35 film camera to shoot photos more than his other cameras.

Although Heaton loves film photography, he is open and interested in learning about digital photography. He just doesn’t have a digital camera at the moment. 

But he is looking into getting a digital camera. He says that digital cameras have a lot more to control. He loves film but it’s harder to photograph things that are fast moving with a film camera. 

Heaton says his ideal digital camera would be the Sony Alpha and his ideal film camera would be the Mamiya RZ67. What he loves about the Mamiya RZ67 is that it shoots a larger format of film. This allows the photographer to get really close and still get a good quality picture.

Something Heaton enjoys is taking pictures of landscapes, nature, and anything that would make the viewer really think. He would like to do portraits, but he just hasn’t learned about them enough to do so. Right now Heaton is enjoying doing a lot of night photography.

Audrey says that this journey so far has given Heaton more opportunities. She says he has gotten a lot of compliments and has been able to make new friends through photography.

Someone Heaton is inspired by is photographer George Muncey. He says Muncey taught him a lot through his videos. Other than watching videos, Heaton has developed his photography skills on his own through trial and error.

“I am pretty much self taught,” Heaton said. “Most people I know just aren’t into photography as much as I am.”

Through this journey, Heaton says he has learned a lot about the camera and a lot about himself. He has learned about technique, film and the camera itself. But he’s also learned to be okay to make mistakes, to be patient, and he has learned a lot about self-growth.

When thinking about the future, Heaton definitely keeps photography in mind. He says photography is a long term hobby for him. For a career, photography is something Heaton is unsure of but he is open to the idea of it

“I don’t know, we will see,” Heaton said. “But I definitely like doing it.”