growing up in the time of a digital craze finally gave way to the ideal of seeking something more authentic and timeless. if that doesn’t quite make sense then let me explain…
i suppose it all started after re-opening several boxes full of my parents old film photo albums about 6 months ago. seeing the photos in their physical, tangible state fascinated me. but for the most part it was the stories that mum shared with me as i flicked through each album. yes, i do realise that digital images can be printed, and we can share stories about them to our family and friends as well. there was just something in that moment six months ago that opened my eyes to a whole new world of photography.
following this, and for some time after, i found myself editing my photos to give them that ‘film look’. achieving a look flooded with richness and a hint of grain intrigued me. it was an attempted throwback of sorts to how those photos in my parents albums looked.
i enjoyed the idea of being different.
and so in december of last year i bought my first film camera, a canon ae-1 program. a 35mm classic from the early 1980s.
its the loading of a new roll of film, its the sounds the camera makes as i snap a photo and wind on the film, its the element of the unknown and the patience required while i wait for a roll to be developed that i enjoy the most. also, i just think my film camera looks so much cooler than any other dlsr.
since picking up this camera for the first time i can say i’ve enjoyed the process far greater than i ever imagined. while it offers an auto mode, it gives me great pleasure to share with you that i have succeeded in only operating it in its fully manual mode (something i never braved to do with my digital camera). adjusting the iso, shutter speed, aperture and focus each time i line up a photo gives me a chance to relax and consider what i’m truly capturing. in a sadly twisted way i actually quite enjoy the fact that rolls of film aren’t particularly cheap (…of course i wish they were). but again, it forces me to discover the best composition in a situation and capture it at the right moment.
my canon ae-1 is something i try to bring with me everywhere i go now. it has totally replaced my desire to use my iphone and digital camera for taking pictures. for instance, rather than pulling out my iphone for that pres group photo or the “i’m at the beach” snapchat story that many create nowadays, i will take out my canon ae-1 and snap up the moment with a few exposures.
in saying all of this i do not dislike digital photography in any way. some of my favourite photos have been captured using a digital slr. it’s just that i like film a little bit more.