January 11, 2024  •  Leave a Comment

There’s a resurgence of taking photographs with film. An entire new generation are finding the wonder and fun of takings photograps with film. And I am enjoying see the results.

My only option when I was learning photography was loading the film, choosing settings, developing the film, wet printing, trusting the magic of light, and developing skill. No digital.

There was no “chimping” (that of checking every photo on the camera display immediately after capture), sometimes you had to wait weeks to get photos back if you weren’t doing the developing and printing yourself. There was a lot of mystery, and risk.

Imagine shooting an entire wedding on 10, 36 exposure rolls of film. The ENITRE wedding event. Bump your aperture dial, shutter speed, forget to change the ASA/ISO, and the whole thing could be toast.

And the mystery, yup, there was something mysterious about film, it was honestly magical. If you figured out all the settings, like scientific formulas, you could produce amazing images. Get it really right and it lent you authenticity and credibility. You had to work at mastering your craft. You also had to think about what you were shooting. A 12, 24 or 36 exposure roll of film was not really cheap, not like just looking at 200 digital shots, picking one or two, and deleting the rest. You were invested in your shots.

There was a richness and depth to film. The aesthetics of film, imperfect, grainy, you picked different film types for different projects. It was a way to create your own look, your style. It was magical.

I wish I still had my old film cameras, I do have my Dad’s Leica that I learned on but I don’t use it, and I sold my Canon AE-1 and my Rolleiflex 2.8F years ago.

Nikon does have a pretty cool website where you can download film styles and upload them to your Nikon Camera and then use the styles in the Picture Control setting. I currently use Agfa Vista 200, Fuji Velvia, Kodak Tri-X, Porta 160NC, Ektachrome P, Gold 100, T-Max 400 and Ektachrome E100 VS. These settings apply to only JPEG’s and the display, but I shoot RAW and JPEG, at the same time. Are they perfect, no, but they are a fun way to explore the old nuances of shooting film. And I don’t have to shell out money to replace my old film cameras.


Funny, when digital came out I never thought that film would ever make such a resurgence. I knew there would always be old school purists that would embrace the genre, but I’m glad there is a whole generation embracing the magic of film.

Sadly, I didn't save my vinyl records either.



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