I tried . . Really!
Really, I did try. So OK, there you are at your local photo club meetup enjoying life and somewhere deep in that mush bucket on your shoulders a random synapse fires and the room fills with the smell of thoughts surfacing and the sound of screeching gears reach a crescendo and you blurt out with glee and enthusiasm . . . “HEY, who’s up for a film photo walk ” . . . [insert the sound of crickets here] . . . I swear it was that silent, the look of “Deer in the Headlights” and actual loathing, at the sheer mention of that dreaded word . . . “F I L M“
It saddens me at how far away from my roots in photography we have come, mind you I shoot a lot, and mostly I use Digital cameras or camera backs but I still enjoy film on occasion, there really is nothing Digital that has the look of a photograph captured on film. Yes yes I know there are dozens of products that allow you to manipulate your digital file to have that “film Look“. Hate to break it to you, that real film look can only be achieved by a piece of real film, processed in chemicals and printed on photo paper. I admit, I have not been in a darkroom since the mid 90’s when I took a hiatus from photography for a bit, Family, kids all the things that make up having a life is all about. Yes there were a few Point and Shoot moments made with those quick & dirty little disposable cameras full of Fujifilm and Kodak, but nothing I personally processed for a few years.
So back to that Cricket moment where I scared the hell out of a bunch of photography club members that all suddenly spoke up with excuses like, “I don’t own a film camera”, “It’s to expensive”, “It’s well . . not digital”, “I don’t know how”, “There is nowhere to get it processed” . . . and on and on the excuses flowed as the mob picked up their pitchforks and torches, with cries of “Kill it” . . . for $5 bucks you can get an Analog camera at almost any yard sale, and have a bit of fun . . . opps! I uttered some damming statement there!
Really . . . my simple suggestion of a fun day shooting “F I L M” reduced a room full of “Photographers” to a bunch of [insert your own mental picture of them] . . . well, I must admit, it opened my eyes to the sad state of where the overall Photographic mindset is now days regarding the state of Analog photography methods. It appears I dabble in the dark arts, from the dark ages and therefore I must be blasphemous, waving my light meter and speak in the alchemists tongue of the “Sunny 16 rules”, when I put to word the ways of photography before the digital madness . . . I am doomed.
So there ya go, I admit it, I am guilty as charged! I still shoot film, I still own analog cameras and all their accoutrements that go with them (and know how they are used), and yes, I use digital as well and software too. So there . . . I tried . . Really! To suggest a film day walk about . . to a bunch of Fauxtographers.
So there ya have it, I am guilty, I still shoot film, I’ll just go to the back of the room and shut up, while everyone suggests the same old stuff and complains that there is nothing to photograph so therefore no plans to meet up anywhere to shoot pictures. OK . . . OK . . . I am off my soapbox, my personal lesson in social suggestions is over, I’ll just go with the few I know who want to make a day of it, shooting a roll of 35mm C-41 film in old cameras and doing lunch while the film is processed at the local Walgreens or Cosco and scanned to CD so we can later play with them on our computers . . . I’m good with that, a little singed from the MOB, but happy non the less, that I still have a few friends left that, enjoy the Alchemy of . . . F I L M.
The above photo is from 1979, shot on Tri-x with a Nikon F, My sister working in her Potting shed.
This was shot more recently using another Nikon F and Kodak BW400CN . .
Go buy a used film camera, relearn photography, this way you will appreciate how far we have come in this digital age. You might even have some fun!