Although I’m still only starting out with my exploration of film photography I have a few images already that I feel indicate where my style and taste will arrive.
The images I shoot on film are very distinct from my digital work, and not just because they are in black and white. There are a few directions I will be attempting to take this, and I also what to see what kind of habits I naturally fall into, so that I can use them to strengthen areas I am weak, in both film and digital photography.
In short, there are several distinct reasons why I shoot film and I’d like to share them with you here today.
Digital photography is very close to the digital reality of the western first world. We take photographs on digital cameras, or mobile phones, share them digitally, admire and like them digitally, and (in an increasingly dwindling market, directly because of the democratisation of digital photography methodology) are paid for them digitally.
To me film represents the surreal, and the work that stands out to me from my film archive are the frames that have elements of the surreal.
The vast majority of my work on film is in black and white, and taken with contrast in mind while composing and finding the right light. Black and white only exists in forms of art, and is removed from reality of the way we see, an idea I have discussed on my own blog.
Film is another step removed; shooting it comes with all the rituals and mysticism of capturing a genuine moment of light on a physical piece of film that you can pick up, hold, and say: “this was with me at the exact moment that this happened.”
What drew me to film was not the element of the scientific, or even the passion of the community that supports and eagerly promotes the virtues of the medium.
It offered me a distinct separation from my current digital perspective on photography. A way to truly learn my limitations and highlights areas I can improve. As someone who already knows photography fairly intimately a learning tool like this is not to be overlooked.
Over the next few months I will be shooting personal photographs, street photography, and assignments, and I will be bringing my film camera with me for all of these, to inform my vision and guide my compositions. I will hopefully write a little more about this in the future when I have a larger body of film photography work.
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