Shooting With Film
I just wanted to share with you a little bit of how I keep interested in photography outside of work. One of my friends recently pointed out that photography was more of a vocation than a job for me, and I think she is right. It's the only job I've ever wanted to do since I started college. Over the years I've thought about getting a different job like when the kids were younger but I've always harked back to photography. I love to photograph pretty much anything, and with the internet, information is at our fingertips providing we know where to look.
If I'm honest though, it's film photography that I love shooting in my spare time, or anytime. I use digital for most of my work and film, analog, what ever you'd like to call it, for personal stuff. A short time ago, labs were telling us film was over, nobody was interested any more. There was less choice and films would come back ruined because of the lack of knowledge with film processing. Then came the resurgence. THANK GOODNESS. Thank you Splendid (Wellington), these guys look after all film lovers. Look around your area, and I am sure you will find a reliable film lab too.
These two Climate Change Protest photos taken last year were on expired Fuji Film. This one has a scratch across it which I usually would get rid of. I think it worked with this particular image though so I left it.
I have three film cameras and I am looking at purchasing another, and probably another after that. They all create different feelings, the light hits the emulsion differently on each of them. The emulsion is the photographic part of the film, I could go into all the techie terms of what emulsion really is but you can google them, there's loads of info out there. Then there's the choice of film, including brand, speed, format and the list goes on. Push the film or pull the film, rate it at box speed, so much to think of. Not to mention the limited amount of shots. This is where I find film keeps me honest in my job. Instead of wacking out an abundance of digital images I am more considered before pressing the shutter release button. Then when it comes to editing, I find culling the images back a lot more simple.
Mamiya RB67 Pro S with Retro film. Mamiya is pictured below.
I guess a question for me is will I bring film into my family work, or even commercial. Well, it's a high probability I will. Not just yet though. There's still a lot of experimenting and even reminding myself of how to work with film again in some areas. I was trained before digital photography was utilised as a professional option and I am so glad of that. Film gives me time to breathe. It doesn't take away from the moment, it adds to it and when I'm out with family or friends this is important to me. I will always want to document moments and memories for our family and I find film is a good creative outlet and it doesn't take over the moment. One or two shots and I can relax. After all, I only have 36 exposures, or 12 exposures, or 10 exposures depending on which camera I use.
All of these images above were taken on my Nikon F-801s Ilford HP5 Plus. Pushed one stop creating contrast and grain.
Then there's the excitement of the film coming back. I race home, scan it and loooovvve it. That's cheesy but oh so true. In fact, as a family, we love it. Well, mostly me and they all just say that looks cool. So to me they love it too :-)
These four images were taken in South East Asia in 2002 on my Bronica (which sadly I don't have now boo hoo..) on slide film.
So hopefully that gives you a little insight to the romance of film. Give it a go, remember though, when you look through the viewfinder, that's the crop you'll get. There's not as much room for error as in digital. Have fun and I hope you've enjoyed this! To check out my film instagram go to @developandprint.