I only ventured into analogue photography around 6 months ago. I saw it as a chance to hone my photography skills and up my digital photography game. However, after buying a half-working Yashica I was hooked. There was something about the clack of a properly mechanical shutter and no AF that completely changed how I see photography.
Film is a medium that insists you slow down and take in your surroundings before framing a shot. There’s no light balance adjustments or changing ISO settings and there’s no stability controls, you’re on your own.
After realising I valued shooting film as more than just a training exercise, i invested in a slightly more reliable camera and began to fully imerse myself into the film photography culture. I watched all of Mike Janiks Youtube channel in about a week. Then came KingJvpes, who I still follow almost religiously to this day.
It dawned on me that film is not a tiny niche that I had discovered by chance. It’s a global reawakening. It might have been away for a few years, but it’s making a comeback. Don’t believe me? Explain to me how Ilford still manages to keep it’s labs open, or why Kodak re-inroduced it’s beloved Ektachrome and sunk millions into a super 8 reboot (not a still camera I know, but still sweet).
Film is alive and well and it’s only getting stronger. The more we have Youtubers like KingJvpes and George Muncey of Negative Feedback, the more young people our age are becoming aware of film photography and accessing it.
To me digital photography will always outperform film when it comes to numbers and features. The most stunning pictures in the world are taken on an intelligent DSLR system that is constantly measuring white balance and adjusting it’s focus, whilst also keeping the image steady and measuring your exposure with absolutely clinical precision.
However, what film lacks in scientific superiority, it more than makes up for in artistic flare. The grain in film, it’s ability to be pushed beyond it’s speed, to be developed according to how it was shot and to purposely overexposed. You only need to look into past masters such as Henri Cartier-Bresson and Ansel Adams to witness the creative though behind film’s most famous photographs.
So as that old Minolta 35mm gets snapped up on eBay by a guy in his 20s and more mini-shops dedicated to selling film photography equipment pop up around the world, we’ll slowly start to see a new era for film, and I can’t wait.