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Photo Essay: Rewinding the roll of tranquility, stillness

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Traveling can be exhausting. However, even in a different city, like Amsterdam, you can find pockets of nature to sit in and reflect on newly gained experiences. (Defne Karabatur/Senior Staff)


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OCTOBER 04, 2022

Film photography is a thrilling escape from the norm, reminiscent of days before digitalization. It allows us to capture the world through a different lens — colors, feelings, emotions and tones we don’t see through our phones and digital cameras are brought to life on film. 

While shooting on film means we cannot instantly see what we are capturing, a newfound sense of beauty is added — we don’t know how the camera decided to frame some of our happiest moments until we finish the roll and get it developed, whether that takes weeks or months. Post-development, not only do the memories come rushing back in beautifully accented photographs capturing the extraordinary, but also mark of our artistic talent.

In times of stress, anxiety and sadness, these photographs give us the ability to take a step back and stand still in the picturesque. These carefree and instantaneous moments remind us that life is more than the troubles we’re currently enduring and the better times — just like the final shots we waited so long for — will come in due time. 

Here is a collection of film photos captured by The Daily Californian’s photo staff that remind them of eclectic tranquility in their lives. We hope that these photographs offer you a chance to reflect on your own extraordinary moments.

— Defne Karabatur, creative director & Izza Ahmed, special issues deputy editor

photo of a few friends kayaking
I love looking back on this picture of the Berkeley Marina and remembering a visit with my friends during our first week in Berkeley.
(Kyle Garcia Takata/Senior Staff)


photo of ship with cargo containers
Growing up in Oakland, one of my favorite things to do was park across the port and watch as the massive white cranes stacked shipping containers one by one onto the cargo boats.
(William Webster/Senior Staff)


photo of a pagoda in South Korea
Before I started college, my family tried to travel as much as possible during school breaks. Taken in South Korea right before the pandemic, this photo reminds me of spending time with family and exploring new cities.
(Anita Liu/Staff)


photo of Long Beach boardwalk
I think it’s important to take time and do some exploring by yourself.
(Nick Quinlan/Senior Staff)


photo of a dad holding a branch from an apricot tree
This was one of my favorite moments this past summer — the weather was perfect for picking apricots and my family was very excited to spend our afternoon eating the delicious fruits together.
(Izza Ahmed/Senior Staff)


photo of a few boats with a person standing on one of them
This picture is of my best friend Danny. Even in the worst situations, he always finds a way to bring a smile to those around him.
(Nick Quinlan/Senior Staff)


First dip in the lake on a hot summer day. (Kimberly Fong/Staff)


photo of a beachside
My mother grew up in France, and would spend her childhood summers on the beach of a tiny town in the riviera. My parents were married on this beach. Throughout my childhood, this has been a consistent place of peace and happiness, and is the only place in the world where I feel content doing nothing. This photo represents how a day on the beach feels, or at least come somewhat close.
(Gabriel Nuer/Staff)


photo of a man sitting on a box at the Downtown Berkeley farmer's market
Going to the Downtown Berkeley farmers’ market is one of my favorite things. Not only to eat and buy produce, but also to find serendipity within nature and togetherness.
(Defne Karabatur/Senior Staff)


photo of the Campanile and Berkeley streets
Sometimes Berkeley feels too crowded and gets hard to appreciate. Just a few blocks above campus on Northside, the streets are emptier and the view is better.
(Caroline Lobel/Senior Staff)


photo of a street looking out of a window
This is the view out the window of Capital One Cafe in Center City, Philadelphia. During high school, my friends and I would often come here. (Theo Wyss-Flamm/Senior Staff)


photo of the Philadelphia train station
I used to spend hot afternoons and late nights waiting for my train home on the 30th Street Station platform in Philadelphia. It’s very picturesque and one of my favorite places on the planet. (Theo Wyss-Flamm/Senior Staff)


photo of a book/postcard corner in Istanbul
I took this photo while walking down a street in Istanbul. I remember finding this peaceful book corner uplifting because the city can get loud and chaotic.
(Defne Karabatur/Senior Staff)


photo of a building in the middle of Interstate 5
Driving along Interstate 5, there’s not much to see on the road between the Bay Area and LA. In the vastness of it all, there are a few buildings here and there that I enjoy looking at — it’s nice to know that there is something even in the middle of nothing.
(Caroline Lobel/Senior Staff)


photo of the abortion right's protest with a kid in the front holding a sign
At the end of a protest, I saw this young girl marching with her mother. I was thrilled to see someone so young able to partake in such an extraordinary movement, and it renewed my hopes for a better future.
(Izza Ahmed/Senior Staff)


photo of Lake Merritt
Whenever school or the city gets to be too much, I make a trip to Lake Merritt and stare at the calming water while sitting on the grass. This is something that I’ve been doing since high school. While a lot has changed since then, Lake Merritt has not — which I greatly appreciate.
(Caroline Lobel/Senior Staff)

Contact Defne Karabatur at  or on Twitter


OCTOBER 05, 2022