Film Cameras Need to Come Back

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

I told one of my photography professors once that I didn't like how my photos came out super intensely clear.

I liked my blurry photos with fuzzy imperfections, they were much more human and friendly.  It just made sense to have blur because nobody can see that clearly in real life, not me at least.  Whenever my photos came out so clear and sharp, it looked like I had frozen a moment in time to the exact millisecond.  It was like I had stopped every single atom from moving and there was no movement or life in the photos.  It's not realistic in the sense that my camera saw better than my actual eyeballs.

I was using a DSLR at the time, and after I told him this, he said that I would enjoy film cameras.  I was slightly puzzled.  I haven't used a film camera since my freshman year of high school.  Then after some thinking I realized that I enjoyed the photographs I had taken using film.  Even in my family photo albums from when I was a kid, the photos had a lot of organic blurs in them.  There is a different kind of life in the film photographs.

I have noticed that digital photos always looked so sterile and unflattering to me.  Seeing myself in a photograph taken by a digital camera is a lot different than seeing myself in a photograph taken with film.  There's more room in film to be present and unique.

When I use my digital camera, I taken hundreds of photos of the same thing, hoping I capture a good one.  With my film, it isn't like that.  I have to pause, observe, adjust my settings, and then wait patiently some more before I choose to press the button.  I can't see the photo after, so I have to trust that it will come out the way it comes out and let it be.  No do overs.  A lot like life.  Choosing your moments, deciding to take a chance, or not.  Patiently waiting for that inspiration.  Going out there to find it.

This is why I like film better.  This is why film needs to stay.  There's more life in it.  I'm hoping others will realize the same and will help keep it alive.



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