West Coast USA | Ilford Camera Project

In case you don’t know, we have started a Feather & Film Project where we share our love of both film and travel with you all!

In this year long project we have teamed up with Ilford who have been kind enough to share their awesome Disposable film cameras with us (and you!) and the incredible Carmencita Film Lab who will be developing and scanning all the lovely rolls of film.

This project is for anyone! From the ‘never shot film before’ people, all the way to the ‘love it, swear by it and wouldn’t ever return to digital photography’ people! It’s so easy to forget how fun it is to shoot a disposable camera. They come out with interesting, unexpected and amazing results!

Our first camera travelled to the West Coast USA for a road trip with two non film shooters Joe & Lily, check it out, there’s some really great shots here. Our favourite being the city view shot, let us know what you think and if you’d also like to take part!

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Joe & Lily. Their trip & their thoughts on shooting with film!

We started our trip staying at the Venice Beach Hostel on Washington Boulevard, next to Abbott Kinney Blvd – a hip street of independent cafes, clothes shops, flea markets (the list goes on!) We explored the Venice Canals, Venice Beach, Santa Monica. There is so much to take in – the street art, buskers, eccentric locals, skate boarders and street performers.

We rented a car, and our drive out of LA leads out through an expansive hill range which suddenly flattens out. Up on Highway 99 we drove up through Fresno and across towards Yosemite. Here we stayed at Yosemite Bug – a great hostel and we highly recommend this place if you’re visiting Yosemite! It is about a 40 minute drive from the park, but has a great atmosphere and amazing food! BYOB if you pay $5!

It is much drier at this time of year and there was no water at Yosemite Falls. We did a great two day hike here.

We drove on to San Fran on Highway 120. A journey full of amazing agriculture, orange groves, grape vines and roadside fruit stalls. Here we stayed at the Amsterdam Hotel (a cheap hostel with a great location!) This city is a pretty interesting place to drive around due to hills and the one way system – but expensive for overnight parking in the centre! This is an amazingly diverse city and very manageable. We ate at Sparrow Bar on Height Street which has amazing food and beer cocktails! Brunch is apparently a big deal over there!

Alcatraz is well worth a visit, but we foolishly didn’t book prior and it does sell out weeks in advance! Turn up early in the morning (6 – 7am), as they hold some tickets back for the first tour of the day for people who make the queue! Totally worth it.

We experienced so much here, including walking the hilly streets of San Fran, riding on the cable cars, Fisherman’s wharf, Johnny Rockets, Broadway and China Town. Clam chowder bread bowl is everywhere and surprisingly delicious!

We haven’t used a disposable for a number of years, but we really enjoyed shooting on film and getting a good variety to tell a story. The camera worked exceptionally well in good light, which there was plenty of it during the day as they were experiencing a prolonged summer/heat wave. I think exposure is definitely something to consider when it’s darker, (the Jonny rockets shot was salvaged by cool neons but I was hoping the interior would have exposed.)

So, unless you’re shooting something in bright light or close up with flash, then the results may not turn out as expected! 


Follow Joe on instagram: @j.newmarch and Lily: @lilyelise12


Thanks to Ilford Photo & Carmencita Film Lab for supplying the cameras and film scanning/developing services as well as their support for this project.


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