This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, Shoot It With Film may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.
Today, we’re featuring a lovely Lake Geneva travel essay from Raphaël Knecht. Scroll below to view the images and read more from Raphaël about his film photography journey and his time in France and Switzerland…
My name is Raphaël, and I am from France. I started photography in 2017 with my wife’s digital DSLR (and haven’t given it back to her yet). My first try with film was in 2018 when a friend gave me an old camera, an Olympus OM20 (older than me).
At the beginning, I shot a few film stocks. Funny, but nothing more. At this moment, I didn’t understand the “magic” of film photography. And the fact is that I used to bring my digital cameras and analog gear with me at the same time. Too much stuff, and, consequently, too many choices… (Taking a picture with analog or/and with digital, trying all of the objectives for the same scenes…)
I felt mentally exhausted (my back, too). I needed to rationalize my process for the most important thing: the pleasure of taking pictures. I made a radical choice for my practice: use a unique camera and a digital Fujifilm X100F (with a fixed 35mm objective and a 50mm converter).
By using the X100F which has an analog “spirit” and reading books and blogs about film photography (like Shoot It With Film), my desire for using my analog camera awoke. I wanted to slow down and discover the benefits of waiting.
So, this summer, I decided to only bring with me the Olympus OM20 with a 50mm 1.8 during a short trip around the Lake Leman. And a unique (the last..? :D) roll of Fuji Pro 400H, rated at 200 ISO. 36 pictures for 3 days and that’s all.
It was amazing! So refreshing. I felt more free and spent more time with my lovely wife. I repeated the experience last September during another trip to Corsica: same pleasure.
I consider this roll as my first “serious” try with film photography, and I really like the results. The lab, Carmencita, did a great job in my eyes.
About the trip: Lake Geneva (also called Lac Léman in French) is a beautiful and peaceful place between France and Switzerland. The medieval village of Yvoire in France is very sweet, with stone houses and a lot of flowers.
The botanical garden (Jardin des Cinq Sens) is worth a visit: it is based on the five senses. You can even eat some flowers! And don’t forget to taste the local fish taken from the lake, “filets de perche.”
On the other side of the lake, I recommend a stay (even a few hours) in Montreux, the iconic town of the Swiss Riviera.
Here again, a lot of flowers, plants, trees, and beautiful views. You can have a walk on the promenade along the lake and observe works of art (included the Freddy Mercury statue) and palaces. With a lot of people from everywhere in the world, Montreux is a very cosmopolitan city and a place to go for anyone who loves culture.
Hope you’ll enjoy this little bit of travel and it encourages you to visit these beautiful places.