I recently completed a series of survival courses at Fairchild AFB. I was only authorized to bring a film camera to the field training portion of SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape) School.

I had never shot film before, but I have always loved the grit of old images. I ended up buying a Holga 120n toy camera and four rolls of Ilford HP5 medium format film.

I wasn’t sure if the plastic camera would survive the harsh winter conditions of northern Washington, but the risk was worth the reward.

This week, I had the film developed, I scanned the images at home, intentionally leaving the rough edges. I hoped to create a series of images that captured the tough living conditions and pull the viewer out of 2020.

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Before I started SERE School I did some research on different films and decided to buy four rolls of Ilford HP5 Plus, black and white film

I shot a total of 48 frames during my 6 days of field survival training

Each Airman was issued basic winter survival gear

We left for the mountains from Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane, Washington

We were separated into 10-person teams for the duration of the week

Each Airman had roughly 30 pound ALICE packs to carry each day through the mountains

Each day the teams rucked a few kilometers through the snow to different sites

Different camps were picked each night to start fires and pitch shelters

Airmen used compass and map to navigate from point to point

The team communicates with a rescue aircraft using a radio and signal mirrors

Different evasion techniques were taught and practiced

Luckily there was still moving water that had not froze so Airmen could fill canteens each day.