My Adventures in Film ~ March 2012 | Central Iowa Lifestyle & Portrait Photographer

I’ve been trying to pin down what it is about film that has me SO enthralled.  I’ve already written about how shooting film has made me slow down and become a better photographer, and that’s still true.  I’ve also written about some of the benefits and drawbacks of film that I’ve discovered so far.  But I think there’s more to it than that even.  And I’m not the only one in love with film these days.


I purchased two books with some of my fearless birthday money:  Film Is Not Dead: A Digital Photographer’s Guide to Shooting Film and Fearless Photographer:  Film in the Digital Era (by the way, I came up with my Year of Fearlessness and Film BEFORE I found that last book).  :)  Then there are 9 Film-Shooting Wedding Photographers You Should Follow.  And these are just a few of the sources that I’ve stumbled upon.  But what is it about film that draws ME in?  I’m still working on that one.

I think part of it is mastering a skill.  I’d always wanted to learn photography, but all of those numbers on the lens and fractions of a second intimidated this math-hating literary girl, so instead of taking a photography class, I took another literature class.  So when digital came along, I knew my time had come, yet even then I shot on the green square for several years.  But even before I picked up a film camera, I was confident I could make a good exposure, so what did it matter whether or not I shot film?  And if that was all there was to it, wouldn’t one roll of film have been enough to scratch that itch?

Maybe it’s the whole “going retro” idea.  I love getting to the foundations of things.  As a gardener, I had traditional, native prairie plants in my garden.  As a knitter, I had to learn how to card, spin, and dye my own wool.  (I drew the line at learning how to shear a sheep.)  As an English teacher I loved Shakespeare and Chaucer.  And who knows, maybe someday I’ll learn Old English just so I can read the original text of Beowulf.  You never know with me.  So maybe it’s no surprise that I’m looking to take a darkroom class so I can process my own film and make my own prints.  After studying to take the CPP exam, I understand how to do all of this in theory, but I feel compelled to learn how to do it for real.  A print made from a film negative can truly be a one-of-a kind-piece of art.  That fascinates me.  And I am totally enthralled with the idea of wet-plate photography!  Someday….

So to help me quantify this infatuation with my film camera, I’m going to take my FM and my D700 on a double date next month–not because I’m out to prove one platform is better than the other–but so I can determine the differences for myself.  I have some ideas of where and how they differ, and I’d like to see if those ideas pan out.  Yeah, I could Google it, but I don’t want to be influenced more than I already have been by what I’ve read.  I want to find out for myself.  It’s what I’d tell my kids to do.

In the mean time, I’ll share a little more of my personal life.  All of my daily life photos for March were made on my cute little FM with no digital edits.

Spring has sprung a month early in Iowa. So that means lots of flowers and playing outside.

For St. Patrick’s day, we went to a friend’s house.  We celebrated an Irish holiday with yummy Korean food.

Do you have a film camera languishing in your closet?

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