Film photography offers a liberating alternative to the digital world – The Orion
The advent of the digital age has revolutionized the photography industry. Digital photography meant that one could capture a moment in time and share it instantly. I started photography because I wanted to express myself and express my vision of the world. Art brings people together and captures the human experience. I wanted to be part of it.
Digital photography seemed like the obvious choice. I chose digital photography as a hobby and enjoyed being able to share the moments of my life while learning a new art. But I wanted a more personal experience. I saw that more and more people were shooting on film, but I didn’t understand the point. Why would I care about the lengthy process involved in filming when I had a digital camera that could instantly capture a scene? It seemed obsolete.
The last few years have seen a resurgence of film photography. In a short YouTube documentary, Edward Hurley, director of Eastman Kodak, said, âWe’re doing more than twice as many rolls. [film] in 2019 than what we did in 2015. â
The prices of film cameras have skyrocketed. Higher demand for film cameras means higher demand for film rolls. As a result, major movie brands continue to increase their prices, some by as much as 10-20%.
The best way to understand the appeal of the film was to experience it myself, so I ordered a Nikon FM2N online. I immediately understood the interest of shooting on film. The shutter is strong and distinct. You can feel the vibration through your fingers as the camera mechanisms collide. The body is heavy and made of aluminum. The process of rewinding the exposed film and replacing it with a new roll is satisfactory.
Film photography offers a more personal relationship with his art. This forces the photographer to slow down and be incredibly deliberate with what he wants to capture. I can no longer instantly analyze my shots and redo shots if I’m not happy, nor do I have the budget to burn rolls of film.
Waiting for the movie to develop induces the same excitement I felt when I was a kid on Christmas Day. The feeling of total awe and amazement when a few photos take your breath away is gratifying, and no Lightroom edit can mimic the look of a movie.
There is something aesthetic about the vintage, dreamy look that the film offers. Unlike digital cameras, film does not have millions of pixels arranged in a grid. Instead, the film allows the color and light to blend in more naturally. The grain of the film is unique and offers a more organic and raw aesthetic that is pleasing to the human eye. Higher dynamic range means less detail is lost in highlights and shadows. The combination of these unique characteristics means that the film captures the ambiance of a scene beautifully and frequently induces a sense of nostalgia.
Ultimately, the beauty of the film lies in its flawedness. The grain disperses sporadically and the process from shooting to development leaves a lot of room for errors. Mistakes are not always tragedies to be avoided at all costs, and perfection should not be the end goal. I think art flourishes not only in spite of imperfection, but because of imperfection. And this is beautiful.
Aldo Perez can be contacted at [emailÂ protected] or on Twitter @Aldo_Perez