Why Shooting Film Is My New Favourite Things
You’ll have no doubt noticed a lot more film over here and on my instagram. It’s a really interesting evolution, as a few years back i’d see peoples less than perfectly focused and clear film photos and wondered why they’d share something so sub standard (in my anal obsession), but here I am a few years on and I not only love that grainy ‘less than perfect’ feel but I’ve also started to pack my film camera on trips away over both my Canon and my Fuji. As I’ve got into the swing of it, I’ve fallen more and more in love with every roll of film I’ve got back and of course, more and more in love with the process of shooting film. For me, this ever growing love affair, seems to be driven by three key things:
It’s fair to say that I’ve been known to be a pain in the butt with my camera. Consistent ‘one more photo’ requests resulting in hundreds of the same thing all because i’m obsessing over the image i’m getting back on the digital screen – let me try a different composition, different location, different pose, eyes are shut so let me go again … with digital you end up taking more and more photos, never quite satisfied and always seeking that ‘perfect’ one. It’s frustrating for the people i’m roping in to take photos, and in turn I get wound up because I worry I don’t have what I need. Film has completely revolutionized that agonising trap and inevitable argument.
Firstly I can’t see what’s been taken, it is what it is. Secondly I don’t want to waste half a 36 film roll on the same thing, let alone a 120mm which only takes 16 on my medium format fuji. Thirdly, it’s often more fun to shoot than digital, the process of using an old film camera is somewhat charming and a novelty, making it enjoyable even for those who don’t really want to be stood there taking photos of me as I prance around. And finally … compared to my Canon 5Diii and prime lenses, my god is it light and easy to carry around.
I’ve found myself seeking convenience a lot more lately, a blend of wanting to take more photos and wondering if something more light weight, smaller in size and without gigantic interchangeable lenses might help that. I’ve even been researching the Fuji X100F as a camera I can keep on me at all times becomes more appealing than scheduling a ‘shoot day’ with my canon – whenever I feel the urge to get creative, it often coincides with an urge to buy something new to try and facilitate what I want to be doing (my brain works in clever ways). Right now my film camera feels like the perfect balance between the two, and in part that’s made me opt for it more and more.
The edit, or the lack their of, is another thing I love. I shoot entirely on Porta and the colour tones are always pure magic. The film and film process adds so much character, warmth and charm to each shot that you barely need to do a thing before sharing each snap. That character and vibe you work so hard to bring out in digital editing, is almost unnecessary on film, and the more I shoot the more I adore that warm, grainy somewhat soft focus visual my camera produces each time.
Of course the other benefit of not taking 100 images of everything, is that you spend more time in the moment, more time simply enjoying what you’re doing and what you’re seeing. The film camera doesn’t take over the occasion, instead it provides a simple, subtle and enjoyable way to capture just one moment, you take time over that shot because it has to be the right one. Film is really expensive (I pay about £49 for a pack of 5 film and around £14 per film for development) and so you really do have to be choiceful, stop and think about what you want to capture, and really spend time in the moment appreciating every detail.
Below you’ll find a whole host of film photos i’ve not shared with you yet, dating back to early summer. As they weren’t created with a blog post in mind, they’re random and they didn’t really have a ‘purpose’ in mind. I thought sharing them in a little diary format like this might be an enjoyable thing to look back on, and hopefully nice for you to see too?
I hope you enjoyed the film, I’ve got film from both Greece and Mallorca to share next. In fact some of my film from Mallorca is my favourite yet x