We couldn’t help but notice that there seems to have been a rise in the number of film cameras we’ve seen around lately. It feels like not a day goes by when we don’t see some darn hipster wandering round London town with a Pentax K1000, a Holga or even a Fuji Instax (stay tuned for more on this particular camera very soon). As part-time hipsters and long-time fans of film ourselves, we thought we’d put together a few reasons why every photographer should have a go at shooting with film!
1. Every shot counts
People spend a lot of time bemoaning the fact that film is expensive and, well, it is compared to shooting digital. But what you save in pennies you lose in precision. Film forces you to slow down and actually engage your brain (we know, shocking!). It really helps you to focus your mind on what’s happening inside the frame; you naturally spend longer thinking about composition, timing, focus and light. By the time you pick up your digital camera again that precision is ingrained deep within your photo-taking psyche (or something like that anyway). Ultimately, every time you lift your camera to your eye you ask yourself the question; is it really worth it?
2. You’ll learn faster
Shooting with film gives you a real appreciation for how your camera works, and shooting in full manual mode helps to cut your learning curve on exposure basics considerably. You soon get an appreciation for the amount of light in your scene and how to go about controlling it. It almost becomes second nature and eventually you start to set your camera before you’ve even checked the light meter (which is kinda cool, if you’re a nerd like us).
3. You’ll fight to capture those one of a kind moments.
We’re talking about those rare moments which set apart your pictures from everyone else’s. It could be a figure walking down an alleyway, the way the light filters through the clouds or the movement of a sign in the wind; whatever that eureka moment may be, shooting manually with film forces you to build your knowledge and make setting changes quick enough to capture it. Why’s that? Because we all know that a perfect shot consists of many different elements coming together at once in harmony and if the one thing that isn’t up to par is how you’ve set up the camera, you’ll kick yourself.
4. Film is like a box of chocolates…
Nothing quite beats the excitement that you get with developing a roll of film; in the words of Forrest Gump, you never quite know what you’re going to get. There is something really satisfying about taking a shot and moving straight onto the next one; it stops you from spending too long looking at the LCD screen on the back of your camera (which might mean you miss a great shot). It makes the moment you get to see your images for the first time just that little bit more special.
There are many benefits to shooting digital, but how often is it that you actually print out your best shots? With technological developments having made it increasingly easy to view, edit and publish images digitally we can often forget the satisfaction of being able to view a physical print of our work. Being able to develop and print using film we feel allows you to really analyse the composition, colour and tone of the photograph. After all, photography is an art form which can evoke emotion or communicate a message; which works at its absolute best through a printed format.
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