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Why I still shoot with film cameras?

Olympus Trip 35 Film Camera
November 9th, 2020

If you have been around the photography internet you have probably seen that there seems to be a massive resurgence in shooting film. There are even some big photography YouTubers who are starting to show their process and why they shoot film. Let’s discuss why I still shoot with a film camera?

I’ll be honest that I wasn’t interested in photography when film was at its peak. My memories of film were shooting 24 or 36 shots, then dropping them off in town, to pick them up a week later with fingers crossed that they were not blurry or underexposed, even double exposed. Yes, I did that and still don’t know how it happened, its called art these days. 😉

My interest in film peaked a couple of years ago while watching a vlogger called Craig Roberts or E6 Vlogs as he goes on the tubes. I watched him shooting Urban stuff with a Polaroid One Step and a Fujifilm Instax SQ6 and fell in love with those styles of cameras.

Shooting Film makes you slow down.

We are quite lucky these days with digital in that we can rattle off thousands of shots for the small cost of a memory card, so if we mess that image up or want to adjust the image, we can simply take pictures until we get it right. This is great until you get that few seconds of light where you have to nail the image there and then or the opportunity is missed. This is where film excels.

Film and processing are more expensive than they used to be, so you really do have to think about the shots you take. It’s best to buy and process in bulk, if you really want to do it cheaply and if you feel confident you could have a go at processing the film yourself.

Having only 24 shots means that you take more time to set that shot up.

Enjoying the process.

We are quite lucky in that cameras are massively intelligent these days and make it easy to take shots. This makes the process of taking an image almost automatic sometimes, so much so that we often get fixated on the end result.

When shooting film the process is so more important. The vast majority of film cameras are built in an era where cameras had fewer bells and whistles, you had to know how to use them to get decent results.

The cost of entry is very small.

One of the best reasons to shoot film is that it’s relatively cheap to get into. As film photography went out of fashion and digital decided to take over, most folks traded in film camera for their digital equivalents. This means that there are lots of film cameras out there for relatively cheap money as many people don’t want to trade in the convenience of digital for film. There are some real bargains on eBay if you look hard enough.

This is one of the fun things about film. You can take an image, and have to wait a week for the film to return from processing. There are many processing companies out there, that do this at a reasonable cost, not as cheap as sending it to Supasnaps like you used to do, but you want to get your film processed by an expert company, not somebody working a Saturday job, so I probably wouldn’t have sent my images to the local Supasnaps anyway.

So these are a few of my reasons why I still shoot film. Yes, it isn’t something I would do on every shoot. I still love the convenience of digital, but I love the process and creativity that shooting film creates. It’s good to step out of that comfort zone and try something different.

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