An Interview & Visit with Carmencita Film Lab in Valencia, Spain

Rethinking the Film Lab

Although the current film photography community is incredibly small, I often feel that those of us remaining hold a cumulative passion matching that possessed by tens of millions just a few decades ago when film was the globally dominant photographic medium.

Today the community is very strong and well-connected, learning more with every year of hindsight about forecasting the future of film. It's important to be forward-thinking about film photography and help support those who do the same.

Where we buy our gear, where we buy our film, and where we process our images are all valuable opportunities for us to support those who make the luxury of shooting film possible.

Previous to this production I had heard of Carmencita through fellow film photographers, and in my own head only knew of them as some sort of high-end film lab.

Having used high-end film labs for several years in New York City, where "high-end" seemed to only mean high-prices, I never thought to expand the conversation any time someone mentioned that Carmencita was their lab of choice.

After being introduced to Albert by Juho of, I had an opportunity to learn what Carmencita was all about, and felt that it was something worth sharing.

Thank Yous

This video is a production, made possible by, with production assistance by Nico's Photography Show.

Thank you to Oscar Serra and Alma for offering their home to Nico and I and showing us a good time while in Valencia.

Thank you to everyone at Carmencita who did what they do, and then did it again, and then again, so we could film - and for welcoming us into their space.

Editors Note

The team at Carmencita was a pleasure to hang out with and get to know the little I could during production and a few lunches. The entire first day on location no video was shot, Nico and I spent the time talking to Albert and seeing first-hand the environment of the lab. We intentionally did not prepare a script or questions for the interview. Those were drafted the evening after our day in the lab.

Additionally I really did send two rolls of film through the lab following the steps as a first-time customer would to understand the process.

I chose the line by Albert that plays over the Super-8 footage as the opening line because it was personally the main thing that stuck with me after visiting Carmencita.

You have the perfect camera, you have the perfect film stock, you find the perfect light, you went to travel all these kilometers to shoot with this model or this location, and you do everything right; but then when you go and develop this, if the lab doesn’t take the same care that you took, all this goes to nothing..

It’s like you choose and lens or you choose a film stock; it’s the same thing, you should choose a lab.
— Albert Roig, Carmencita FIlm Lab

If you're not in Spain I encourage you to check out Carmencita anyway. In fact over 80% of the film they process comes through their door in a package.