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?