Every Project Has a Story Behind it

Discovering Waves and Film in El Salvador


Playa El Tunco, El Salvador

Cultured During a Digital Revolution

Christmas cards are a sacred tradition in my family. Each December we line up, smile, and my dad rattles off his favorite line. "Take a million, it's digital!" As a man who grew up on film, he still marvels at the power of digital. "Machine gun it!" he says to that year's photographer.

I find myself moving in the opposite direction. I grew up a digital native but, as I've moved through my film school studies, I've started to think about the value of the craft's analog "limitations".

Family photojpg

A very smiley Williams family for our 2017 Christmas card.

Vamos a El Salvador

After finishing principal photography for one of my biggest productions of the semester at school, I decided to use my spring break for reconnecting with two of my favorite hobbies; surf and travel. I needed to disconnect from my phone and all things electronic, but at the same time I wanted to have photos to remember. Coincidentally, while I was preparing for my venture, my dad found a box full of his old film cameras from the 70's and 80's. Without any experience in film practices, I bought two rolls of film to bring with me as my only means for capturing the people and places I encountered. I've included every photo below to display my successes and failures. 

Canon Ae-1.jpg

The setup for the trip: Canon AE-1 with a 50mm lens

Kodak Portra 800

*Raw, unedited, straight from the processing lab. In the order they were taken.

Kodak TRI-X 400TX

*Raw, unedited, straight from the processing lab. In the order they were taken


All in All

I loved every bit of taking photos on film. To be honest, the medium's limitations provided a platform to amplify my creativity. I was really forced to look at my exposures, compositions, and subjects prior to pulling the trigger. I'm amazed by how rich the color, grain, and highlight characteristics become when they are developed. People always talk about the "film look" when shooting or grading their films. In a digital world, we constantly try to achieve a style that was from the past. But I had never fully understood the " film look" until I had this experience. I needed this trip. Not only as a mental break from the world, but to also explore my industry's analog past.


Lucas Williams