5 reasons to change to film photography
If you are anything like us at Film Camera Store, the awe of picking up or collecting film cameras never changes. You get excited about the tangible need to hold film and play with the camera. But you shoot digital or you use your phone everywhere you go, why would you need a film camera? Is it actually worth it?
Well, I will tell you that when I started photography I started with digital, it just shows my age but as a young person, I have been brought up with a love for digital photography. I have always appreciated the aesthetic of film and respected the history behind it. It wasn't until I took photography at A- level in school that I began to realise the excitement of developing film and taking the time to know film. There are several parts of film photography that make you think about how photography works and why it is important to keep it going.
Photo by Skyler Gerald on Unsplash
Photo by Michael Jin on Unsplash
Film Is Tangible
When you have a big photography project planned and you've been busy clearing space in your multiple hard drives and memory cards so to make space for the thousands of photos and having them backed up several times in different places is important. Digital fields are not as reliable as film, they can become corrupt, lost, not saved correctly, or run out of space to file them.
Film is tangible, it's real. You can always re-scan your photos and it lasts forever. You can print them from the original negative. Having film feels as if the memory you took is physically there it is in your hands, and you can see it!
Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash
Staying in the moment
Staying in the moment is the best thing to come from film photography. The reason I switched from digital is it takes all the auto settings out of the picture. It's like taking the stabilisers off! Film photography gives you the chance to grow as a photographer or even as a hobbyist photographer, it allows you to challenge yourself and understand the fundamentals of photography.
It is interesting that when I started out with film photography I took the same approach I do when shooting digital. It's unusual but I love composing an image so I take my time and don't shoot a lot of images. But with Film, you really don't have the luxury to take 100 photos, sift through them, delete the ones you don't like , and re-take. Using Film emphasizes the need to take your time to make your decisions and think about what you are doing. With buying film being the main cost of film photography and getting 36 exposures it means you have fewer times to get it wrong. The beauty is that you can compose your photo set it up just how you like it, take your time and when it's done there's a wave of excitement to
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Aesthetics, it's already old and it's forgivable!
Film first and foremost has some beautiful aesthetics that you simply won't find anywhere else. It's unique and you can only get what you get from shooting on film. Sure you can use post-production and editing to get a 'film look' but ultimately it adds noise and not grain. Film grain is organically made through the use of the film. It is what makes film that dreamy tone and appeal.
Film has an interesting secret that most skip past when thinking of switching to film photography. It's already old... I know it sounds odd but it's true film cameras were part of the first movement in photography they are old technology but this has its advantage. No longer are you buying a camera with the most megapixels, highest range of iso, and the biggest sensor for it to just change a couple of years later? You can never keep up with the latest technology. You buy something new and think you are getting the best just for them to change it the next year. With film cameras, they are built without planned obsolescence. They're made to be repaired and re-used and refurbished which makes them a wicked tool to have in your photography toolbox! You don't have to think about your photography gear not being the best of the best, it's all about you as the photographer.
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Film is a brilliant medium to use in photography because despite the tales of it being super difficult and hard to get into. It's really not, it's so forgiving! In terms of exposure, the latitude of the film has a higher exposure. This means that if you overexpose your film you can always bring the highlights down. It's best to over-expose than under-expose film because then you can keep the details in the shadows of the film. Film is great for beginners who haven't quite got a handle on their settings. You can always try a hack to take a digital photo, grab the settings from your digital camera and translate these to your film camera. Just make sure you have set the ISO to the same as the film speed. You can even do this in manual mode on most mobile phones!
Film makes you trust yourself
Oh to have the confidence to get out of Auto and trust yourself as a photographer. Now you can... you sort of have no choice. There are aspects of film where you can have automated settings for your camera. Autofocus being a great tool! But film does most of the hard work for you with a set ISO film speed all you have to do is work around what you want out of your shot. Whether this is a moody dark shot or a light and airy photo with lots of highlights. It is all possible on film starting with your shutter speed and exposure levels. You can learn more about the exposure triangle in our other blog or even how to take a perfect photograph! So trust yourself and enjoy the outcome that you really are an amazing photographer!
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
Everyone's doing it
O.M.G. get with it! Film is back baby! It just is and you've got to accept it because everyone's doing it. That's my favourite thing about film photography, the community is huge. There are people who grew up with film, there is a new generation being taught how to use a disposable camera on a beach holiday. There are so many people trying out film and loving it because what's not to love? There is no sign of film disappearing any time soon, people who shoot film are so friendly it's almost as if we know who you are. You take your film camera out to take some street photography and a fellow film photographer will give you a little smirk or a nod as if they acknowledge your similar interest and love for the medium. It's brilliant the sense of love for the revival of film photography.