I’ve always loved film.
During my college years, I worked at a one hour lab & benefited from our generous employee discount, i.e. free film processing and 10 cent 4×6 prints. Those were the days… Burning off rolls and rolls of film, totally taking it for granted. I was a total film snob, I used to think, I’m NEVER “going digital”… I was smitten with my film.
Then I graduated… quit working at the photo lab.
My MIL bought me a gorgeous Canon 5D (not bad for my 1st digi SLR!), I started shooting weddings and my lovely Canon 7ne, which I was so amped to get 2 years earlier, started collecting dust. Typical, right… traded it in for the younger, hotter version 😉 Oh sure, occasionally, I would use my Lomo LCA or Holga, which produces yummy contrasty-saturated photos on big ole negatives, but that was few and far between. It wasn’t nearly as convenient to shoot film anymore nor was it nearly free.
This winter I decided to break out those neglected film cameras and give them a good ole roll in the hay 😉 Went on a few photo adventures finding oddities in the boonies of Michigan and Ohio. Annnnd what an experience that was! Purely aesthetics no people, no expression. Stories of a different kind.
I love shooting people, I love documenting love & laughter, those indefinable moments that go by in a 1 hundredth of a second…. BUT it is incredibly relaxing to look down in the Rollei that my great-grandpa shot portraits with in the 20s & 30s, take my time to frame up a rusty green chair sat on the back of a broken down porch up near North Baltimore, Michigan… wondering what happened to this dilapidated house? The people that used to live here, why’d they just leave it. The stories it could tell. I hit the shutter and slowly wind the film through. Every once in awhile catching myself looking at the back of this antique camera to see how my image turned out (duh!!!). The anticipation of not knowing what your image looks like until you get it back from the lab, holding the negative up to the window, hoping they’re dense enough to actually make an image.
There is an excitement that film holds, no instant gratification that we’re all so used to. Film makes you work for it, forces you to just chill out. If you don’t know what the hell you’re doing with the exposure, there’s little chance you’ll be able to save it. It’s too late once your negs are made.