Unravelling stories through developing films
Coming together through their love for film, Queenie, Leone, and Jay formed One 10 Studio Lab. It was a spark of creativity during the pandemic when Queenie started home processing films. She then met Leone and Jay who shared the same vision of pushing each other to come up with ideas they can all work on, thus the film lab in the South was established. We got to visit them and they went in depth on how the lab started, how they manually process films and what they all love about it.
Can you share with us how you started?
I [Queenie] started gaining interest with film photography back in 2015 when I used to watch youtube videos and had friends shooting in film and digital. Back then, I did not really own a real film camera but instead bought disposable cameras because it was still cheap. I eventually found film cameras at home (Canonet QL17 Rangefinder, and a canon autoboy point and shoot which I still use to this day, btw) and had it fixed in Quiapo. Since then, I gained interest in shooting film and never thought to be a film enthusiast to this day.
I told myself that I wanted to learn to self develop before the pandemic because it was costly and time consuming for me to have my films developed in physical stores. Then the pandemic happened. Since there was no other way to have my films developed during that time. I eventually had an opportunity to learn. Self developing is an expensive hobby and is not sustainable if you're just having 1-2 rolls developed per week and that’s the reason behind why I opened my doors to processing film for other people.
I opened the lab last August 2021 as a home processing lab out of spark in creativity. Film processing labs aren't so common nowadays and I wanted to be one of the few labs to open in the south and become a medium for southies to have their rolls developed nearby. It took me a lot of time and patience to be where the lab is and that I am grateful for. Not only that I learned from the trial and errors I have made to see which one works and which does not but also I am proud to say that I did not give up. There was even a time when I just started, I did not have a scanner and had to scan them one by one using a DLSR for grueling hours then edit the pictures on Lightroom before deciding to get a dedicated scanner for film. Imagine how tedious that process was.
“The thrill, skill and art of taking photos to see the outcome is what analog photographers seek for.”
What is your team’s goal for the lab?
The vision we want for One 10 is to create a community in the south where analog and digital enthusiasts come together. Our goal is to create a creativity space where anyone can turn their ideas into life.
Can you share with us the process of developing and processing film?
Although, don’t get yourself confused with what developing and processing film mean. They may actually mean the same thing because developing and scanning take part in processing film. The lab offers two types of film processing: C41 (Color film processing) and B&W (black and white film processing) depending on the roll the customers send. You can identify which process your film goes through as it is indicated on its canister or packaging. Customers usually have their freshly shot film roll developed to find out if there are any photos on the negatives and then followed by scanning the negatives to be uploaded on cloud or printed.
“We take pride in our work that each roll is treated with the utmost care when having it processed by us. We make sure that our customers get quality outputs produced by the lab.”
What are some of the most interesting photos you’ve come across while developing or processing films? Do you get the chance to talk to your clients about their photos and the stories behind them?
We do get to talk with some of our clients about their photos when they're about to have their rolls processed and would always tell us how excited they are to see the outcome of the photos. We’ve noticed how we all have different styles of shooting and preference of hues given the film stock used when processing the photos. All shots that were taken have different stories to tell and how important these photos are to them and taking a collection of photos makes your memories last worthwhile.
Does the team enjoy film photography too? If you do, can you share with us what each of you usually like taking photos of?
Yes! Our team is composed of analog enthusiasts. This is the reason why we’re all part of the team because not only do we love shooting in film but also sharing our ideas and interests in analog, art, and music makes it enjoyable when we’re together. We would come up with concepts for One 10 and what’s a better way of executing it with the help of our collaborative ideas. Aside from that, we enjoy experimenting with the photos we take. We like taking photos of anything with the view, family and friends. We think it would be nice shooting anything as long as we can make something out of it. It could go two ways, it could end up nicely or a beautiful disaster. That doesn't stop us from turning our output into something. Since we have a studio in the office, we’re lucky to have a space to experiment and improve on our outputs.
What is the most challenging thing about your work?
The industry that we are in is based on output and is being judged subjectively. It may look nice to you but it won't with others.
How about the best thing about your work?
It’s proven that film photography’s charm did not fade away. Putting up a film lab and being supported by many film users prove that there are still many people who choose to shoot in film. Finally seeing the community come together and allowing people access to a film processing lab that's nearer to them as I just wanted to share my passion for film photography with everyone along with it and for that I'm very thankful for.
Do you have any advice for film photography, taking care of films, or on the whole process?
My advice for film photography is to be aware and patient in getting to know your camera and film stock before shooting as this will give you a better view on how to use it given that film photography is expensive. Study how to shoot in different lighting conditions, and familiarize yourself with the exposure triangle (shutter speed, aperture, and ISO) that will give you a different perspective. This will prevent you taking underexposed or overexposed shots or even worse a blank roll. A blank roll can cause heartaches. As much as possible, we want to avoid that because every shot counts. Lastly, don't get discouraged when your outputs don't turn out the way you thought they would. There’s always room for improvement and you just have to strive to do better.
The three-member team created a cozy space to develop their customers’ films and wish to evolve into an inviting hub filled with sharing stories and various hobbies where even non film enthusiasts can enjoy as they wait for their processed films.
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