First off. I’d like to say that I am not with the whole film > megapixel movement that has emerged in the last couple of years or so. I was, but the whole thing seems asinine now that I think about it.
With that being said, using film brought me into a whole new world of photography both good and bad.
The good? It’s the perfect teacher for learning how to make photographs. If you fuck up, that’s it, there’s no use trying to fix the damage – and I’m not just talking about the technical errors done in camera (exposure, setting your ISO, loading/unloading your film correctly, etc.). There are also issues such as loading your film into your developing tank, accidentally letting light leaks in, correct ratios for your chemicals, developing time… A whole list goes on (not really).
Also the fact that each frame taken costs money; “each frame has to be worth every cent used”, says the cheapskate in me. I don’t want to waste $8/roll on photos of my shitty instagrammable plate of food. There has to be content, composition, intimacy, and lasting worth in my photos.
I also like the fact that most film cameras aren’t really comparable to one another… No megapixels or extra features to compare, it’s all pretty much just bare-boned tools to get the job done (heh heh). It all really just comes down to what lens and film stock you’re using.
Those are some of the positives I can think of when using the analog process.
Now, the bad?…
The community. At the least some portion of it, mainly the younger users or those just switching for the sake of following a trend.
It seems like everyone who was born after 1995 or a “film photographer” 3 months into using their Leica MP (as a first film camera) and Noctilux thinks that automatically using a film camera makes them some some sort of photographic genius. What bothers me more are the ones who go yelling that they use film, and condemn those who dare to use a camera made from 2004 to the present day.
“Bow down to me, you digital scum!”
“Film… FILM… FILLLLLLMM… Brai- fiiiiilllm. Buy film, not megapixels you douchebag!”
Now, don’t get me wrong, I was on the same sort of high last year when I first started, but looking back at it, god damn if I don’t cringe once in a while.
I think that using film is a good learning tool to improve your photography. It’s a good way to get the technical basics down (film speed, aperture, and shutter speed), and to really think about what’s worth photographing and just learning about the process of making photographs.
I think that you shouldn’t be selling prints of your first 10 rolls or so just because it was shot on film (the fact that I actually saw someone offering this was incredibly funny to me and deserves an L.M.A.O… From what I saw, the work was not good either).
And most important of all:
I think that using either work flow, film or digital, is something I don’t give two shits about. The images are what matter. I think that using a Leica MP as your first film camera is totally fine, but it won’t make you a great photographer; it’s merely used as a tool.
What counts is what your eye sees and whether you can execute the image you saw by fitting objects into a rectangle by use of composition and content.
Past my lunch break. I need to get back to “work” so I’ll end it off here.