I Love Film Shooting
Digital photography has been around now since the late 1990s. I remember when I got my first digital camera which was some kind of an Olympus camera that had 1.1 megapixels. It was clunky and kind of looked like the film cameras of the time such as the Vivitar that my Dad lugged around. Nonetheless, it was a technology marvel for the time because it didn’t require costly film.
After that, I moved into SLR digital photography with the first Canon Digital Rebel in 2004. That camera was amazing and I created so many great photographs with it. After the Digital Rebel, I went with the Canon 30D and really haven’t changed my digital SLR since then (I know, I’m super behind).
In 2006, I got into shooting with a film camera. I was one of those rare cases that got their start doing digital and then later decided to try film. My film camera was a Voigtlander Bessa and it was great, except for when you hit the shutter button and it made a very loud sound. That became a bit challenging doing the work that I did taking candid street photography. I sold that camera and decided to just stay with modern times and shoot digital.
That was a bit of a mistake. When I looked back at my film shots, I couldn’t help but like them more than my digital shots, especially when it came to street photography. So, I decided I would explore film one more time and this time I wouldn’t mess around. I went for a used Leica M6 with a cloth shutter so the shutter wasn’t so noisy and a Voigtlander 28mm lens.
I’ve had this camera ever since and I continue to shoot with it whenever I get the chance. The downfall is the time it takes to develop my film and then scan it in. Once its scanned in though, it usually doesn’t need a lot of tweaks to give it that cool effect like digital often does. I also love manual shooting. I feel more in control of my photos especially when it comes to snapping the shutter. I get no lag at all with film because their is no autofocus or the computer deciding what the best exposure is. I do that even before I take the shot. It’s just push the button and bang! You could do this with digital, but its difficult to do on modern cameras. Most of them assume you won’t be doing this and haven’t made it easy.
I love the grain, I love the black and white tones, I love the scratches. I usually use Kodak Tri-X 400 or Kodak T-Max 100 for film. To me — film is the way photographs should be and they make photography truly an art. It feels crafty developing the film in a tank of chemicals and cutting the film with a scissor to get it on the scanner. You just don’t get that with digital. Digital is surely faster, but this is a hobby for me, not a career.
If you have never explored film, just go out and give it a try even with an inexpensive camera like a Ricoh GR. Film is like vinyl. It’s for those who don’t mind investing the time and money to get what they believe is truly the best.