A few months ago, I unpacked my Canon T90 and shot film the first time in many years. The camera is old and worn, but I got some shots out of it. Since then I found a new fascination for film. Here are some aspects:
- I learnt photography shooting film as a kid. Call it nostalgia or connecting with the roots. It feels good to smell (I mean this literally) film, load a camera and be prepared to fill 36 frames with good images.
- The limitation of 36 images and also knowing that every time I press the shutter, it costs me money, slows me down in a good way. I start pre-visualizing again on what I photograph, instead of chimping afterwards.
- Film continues to be developed. What I didn’t know until recently is that Kodak continues to create better film. The Kodak Portra range of film is simply beautiful and has beautiful fine corn. Portraits just look fantastic with it.
- Shooting film keeps me more connected with the person, I photograph. I watched a film photographer making this statement and I have to agree. I shoot the image and continue my interaction with my client and don’t waste time looking at the back of the camera.
- I sold one of my digital cameras and got myself a second hand Nikon F100 film camera. It has autofocus and I can use most of my current lenses on the camera. My 50mm stays on it most of the time, though. Depth of field is more narrow than with the APS size sensor cameras, I normally use. I like this, especially for portraits.
- There are some challenges as well. Finding a good lab with consistent good scan results has not been easy. I found a service provider, who scans the images perfectly, but at a very high cost. I will reserve this for the very best images only.
Jose Villas is one of my latest discoveries. He is a wedding photographer based in the States and shoots his weddings 100% in film. I link to his blog. To much flash on the main site.