Two weeks ago I invested in a new film camera which I am Planning to use on my new documentary/street project . I have also decided I am going to use film alongside my digital at all times . Film for me at this moment in time is definitely more exciting .
It is currently having a major resurgence in popularity and rightly so as it definitely contains an attraction that I associate with artistic desire . Don’t get me wrong digital is good , but for myself , lately it seems to have an air of false plasticity about itself . The solitary and exclusive act of light on film creates a visual event like nothing else can replicate . The way a film represents reality with its unique aura of originality and historic validation , makes me salivate with trepidation at the though of not using it . A good shot on film makes an effect and fulfils you like nothing else and you cannot quite achieve the same with digital . The Yes you have excellent filters that replicate it , but they don’t quite hit the spot . Film correlates on a personal level with a more realistic and genuine work of art , as you produce a tangible artefact that can struggle against the ravages of time more efficiently . I believe in our current times a good silver gelatine print is also more satisfying and sought after photographically than a digital .
As well as outlasting a digital file on an SD card by 4 to 1 , thus being more valuable as an archival source , it has numerous other benefits which appeal to me . I love the way each frame you compose seems more precious and you hold back for the perfect moment instead of just snapping because you can as is sometimes the case in digital . You can hold your finger on the shutter longer and stem your addiction like a coiled spring waiting to release its energy and gratify you more thoroughly . Your 35 mm film roll is limited to 36 exp so you tend to make them count more . You can’t chimp with a film camera either which helps you too concentrate more on the job at hand , absorbing your surroundings and becoming more focused and zen like in your search for that shot , instead of just being preoccupied by checking your lcd screen to see if you have got the said great shot , which ironically decreases your chances of getting it .
So at the moment I am experimenting with different film to find one I prefer to work with the most , Kodak Portra 400 and Fuji Reala are currently topping the list but Ive just bought 5 rolls of Kodak Tri X 400 which I plan to use this next two weeks . Shooting film makes you more fluent in your basic knowledge of exposure and this is again a good thing for increasing your time for concentrating on the shot .
I have shot film for a long time and always tend to leave the undeveloped film in a bag for 6 to 12 months before I get round to developing and archiving them . You have to be very patient for this and if i wasn’t preoccupied and satisfied with my digital I would of found it a lot harder to do . But now the time has come and I think doing this has also unexpectedly had a positive effect on the way I look at my negs and prints . Because I have forgot a lot of these experiences and singular moments from last year , I can now look upon them with fresh eyes . The rush I get from recollecting these moments after this interlude is fantastic and greatly exagerrated because of this . At the same time it all comes flooding back and corresponding alongside a new fresh perspective from which to look at them and a chance to foster greater ideas from this very notion . This , for me , is one of photographys strong points and always quenches my thirst photographically for a short time .
I am currently in the process of creating my own darkroom . I am drawn to the theory and thrill of developing my own negs and to create my own prints in my own space . To learn and experience more methods of chemical development and self printing , instead of the post process that so many digital photographers use nowadays . I wanted to diminish this ‘ digital ‘ post process procedure as much as possible in the next 12 months simply to make more time for what I love , which is , the act of photography itself . So using this method of only going to develop every 6 months in the darkroom would achieve my desired result and placate me as mentioned above .
I have come to the conclusion that this method of practice is going to be more important in the future . I also atm in time personally prefer it and definitely get more satisfaction out of it . I would rather hold and cherish a good print achieved this way than along the digital route .
It may sound a bit out there lol but film makes my mouth water and I feel like I have really created something special when I get a good result with film . Something I want to keep going back to , over and over again , and that ultimately brings me more joy .