Why A Gentleman Chooses Film Photography

  •  Be Different and Be Noticed.
    Here is something to ponder – if film photography was still the norm today, would the narcissism we see all day long on social media exist today?  More than this, as I was walking around Venice with a Rolleiflex, a lot of people took notice.  I was not seeking this attention, but the camera drew it toward me.
  • Film Photography Was Already a Perfect Medium.   How many of us remember the camera getting whipped out on special occasions, or any occasion for that matter?  All the printed photos, good & bad, went into an album that has been pulled out during the most embarrassing times in our lives.  All the moments are there for us to remember, and they are in a fabulous physical form.
  • Film Photography Often Looks Better.   I always chuckle at all of the filters available for any number of photo processing programs to make digital files look like film.   Digital vs film is a running argument, and both have their virtues.  In a future post, I will upload a medium format film image side by side with a medium format digital photo, and let you decide.  For me, hands down film wins the day.
  • A Digital Photograph is Just a Pixel Mosaic.   Digital photographs are indeed millions of digital colour particles pieced together.  If you are not using a full frame digital camera (equivalent to film), your camera is deciding which pixels to throw away.  A film camera decides what you want.
  • Film Photography Slows Me Down.  Let’s see. 24 or 36 exposures on a roll of film vs a possible 10,000 on a memory card.  Yes, I am going to stop and think about the composition of a photo before clicking the shutter.
  • The Imperfections Can Be Fun.  Expect the unexpected with film photography.  This is especially true of the Lomography cameras, often referred to as Lomo.  I never know what the result will be.  But, even with a traditional film camera, a light leak can create some amazing results – and sometimes devastating results as well.
  • Waiting for the Surprise.   I saved this for last because it is so important.  Film photography taught me to be thoughtful about my photography, so I take my time with each shot.  Then, after the film is developed I am taken back to the time, and circumstances when the photo was taken.  It is a surprise to view the images, and often a good one.  Film photography also taught me not to look at my LCD screen after each shot when I use my digital, as I very much much like surprises.
  • The Photos Can Not Be Deleted.   I was an early user of digital photography, and learned quickly hard drives “die,” and a lot of hard work goes with it.  If one is organised, film photos simply do not disappear.  They don’t!  Starting this film photography blog has reminded me what I’ve always known, but pushed to the back of my feeble brain – film photography is special, and the quality remains just as it did when a negative was developed.  My digital files are backed up again, and again, and …. again.
  • No Electricity Required.  What happens if that solar flare knocks out the electricity grids like we are warned about?  Or, a storm rolls through killing the power?  No computer will work, batteries cannot be charged, photos can not be downloaded, etc…  With film photography, you can go start to finish without electricity.  Hand, and mind.  Imagine that.
  • Film Cameras Can Be Inexpensive.  A simple search at eBay, or the used department at B&H Photo will confirm this statement.  You can pick up a basic 35mm for as little as $10, and a medium format camera for a few hundred dollars.  If you find a good deal on a Hasselblad XPan, please let me know.

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