Do you remember when you were young and you would go on holiday or on a night out and you would take along the old disposable film camera with you? Can you remember the excitement of dropping it off to be developed? Not always remembering what was on the film or whether any of the images would be any good. That excitement of going back to collect them and finding some great images enclosed in that paper envelope was always like Christmas Morning. We don’t have that anymore. Everything now is so instant and dispensable. We can see immediately what the images look like. We take 20 photos of the same thing as we have no concern of running out of film. We then favourite the best, post it and there it stays. Online, rarely printed, rarely do we hold them in our hands anymore. The magic of a photography has become diluted with technology and time.
I studied film photography during my BTEC in Art & Design course when I was a teenager. It quickly became my favourite lesson of the week. Being able to go into the dark room, swaying the tray with the developer chemicals and your light sensitive paper, eagerly watching the image appear before your eyes. It was such a fulfilling experience. There is something very romantic about the portraits captured on a negative. Of course the dark room antics of college friends all hiding under the equipment tables and jumping out at one another made the lessons all the more fun.
Now don’t get me wrong. I love working with my digital camera, especially on client work. It is very practical. However I missed the simplicity and purity of film photography. So a couple of years ago I bought a Canon AE1 35mm Film Camera off Ebay for £120 and a few rolls of different film stock. My first play around was pretty terrible! I had so many out of focus images and metering the light incorrectly. But that made me love it all the more. There is no editing. I simply take the photograph, send it off to be developed and the film lab sends me my images back. I love everything about the process. I have definitely improved over the past 2 years. Even having two of my film images published on Vogue Italia <3
I still have plenty of room for improvement however and am going to continue to learn and explore all the options with film photography. I highly recommend if you are looking for a hobby, or a creative outlet, give film photography a go. I plan to go in to more details on film photography in future blog posts so remember to keep an eye out 🙂