I have been going back through my old archives setting up a new website recently to get my photography on a website that I’m proud of, not just my Tumblr (not that there’s anything wrong with Tumblr). One big thing that I realised is that is that the majority of my photography that I feel proud enough of to share is done on either 35mm or medium format film.
Now I’m not condemning digital, I love how much the use of digital can free you up, in fact I use digital more than analogue. It’s when I come to produce a final product, nine times out of ten; I will choose to use film.
In this post I just want to simply highlight for me what I believe the benefits of using film over digital are.
The Film Quality
Now you are probably thinking that I’m going to get all biased and talk about the quality of the grain of the film and how nothing can reproduce it (which I do believe by the way). Well I’m not. When shooting on film, especially medium format, scanning the film properly and at a high resolution gives you a sharper and crisper image.
When you are working with 36 images only then that puts a sort of barrier in your way. You can’t be trigger happy and waste all 36 of your photos. This limitation makes you think about each photo you are taking. These limitations also force you to think more creatively, when you are presented with obstacles you need to think of new ways of surpassing them.
Like with the limitations, using analogue cameras makes you think more about what you are doing, thus making you learn more about what you are doing. You can’t just snap a photo (not at first anyway), you have to change settings and make sure the photo will even look like a photo.
Using analogue 35mm film means you get to process the film yourself. This is the analogue counterpart of using Photoshop. For me it’s an integral part of the photographic process because of how much you can play around with different things to create cool effects. Using things like bleach or vinegar to mess with your images can look really interesting plus it feels a lot more natural than altering digital files because you can see the direct responses to your changes happen in front of you.
For the quality nothing can match its price. You can do what’s worth thousands in digital with just hundreds with film.
Other than that there is something about following in the footsteps of the great photographers. People don’t play old blues songs because they are hipster and awkward, they do it because they like to follow in the foot steps of their idols.
Thank you for reading!
all photography in this post belongs to me