★ Shooting film.

I wrote this somewhere in September whilst sitting in the Eurostar departure lounge at St. Pancras International in London, and stumble across it while cleaning out my Evernote. Enjoy.

When I say film I don’t mean moving images, I mean taking photographs on film. Good old 35mm film. I was born in 1986 and started photography in 2004 (I think), so I never really shot anything analog. (expect for the 36 shots throw away cams we took on holiday when I was little)

Now meet 2 good friends of mine: Sara and Filip. They run a site called Tales On Film and they are absolutely mad crazy about analog photography. After visiting them a couple of times, I remembered that my aunt had given me an old Canon a couple of years earlier. She had switched to a digital camera and kinda dumped the analog one with me. So Filip sold me some rolls of film and I was good to go.

And I confess, it sure is a thing of beauty. (And I’m not even talking about the final result yet, I’m yet to have a roll of film developed)

When I take a digital shot, it’s hardly never right on the money from the first time. But that’s ok, it’s digital. You look at the back display, you change some settings, you reframe, take 2 and repeat when needed. With film that obviously isn’t possible. But that implies that you only get one crack at the shot. It has to be right there and then. No second changes, no reshoots, that exposure is gone.

It’s also magical. As a kid of the digital age, the thought of a shutter opening and exposing a strip of actual plastic film is kind of strange to me. It’s only X number of exposures, it’s a set sensitivity and it’s set to either color of black/white. You can’t just change “cards” and start over, you have to finish that roll before you can use another type of film. All obvious things, I know, but none the less these are limitations that force the photographer to change his/her mindset completely. (I know, get it right in camera and all that. Come back in 15 years, maybe I’ll get that by than)

I’ve been on 2 city trips during the last month and on both I found myself grabbing for the analog camera rather than the digital one (or two) I had with me. Analog has a simplicity in that you are the one that has to make the picture (if you catch my drift..). When shooting digital, I often find myself taking 5/6 shots of the same thing to get to the shot I have in mind. I’ll change lenses to see if that does the trick and spend even more time on the same shot. When shooting analog, all that has to happen in my head before taking the shot and that process is very enjoyable (more so than taking the shot over and over again with a digital camera).

Will analog replace digital for me? Hell no. Off course not. But I will keep shooting film regularly. To push myself out of the comfort zone that digital has kind of become. To force myself to think about my shots. And hopefully, my digital shots will benefit from this.