Being Forty-something, I kind of grew up with film. It was all there was, and was normal. The only choice you had was 24 or 36 shots (less if it was roll film). Then everything went digital and film was cast aside. If you stay away from something long enough though, you start to miss it. Last year, I wanted to use film again. I got myself a Medium Format camera and set to work. This was after stumbling upon an article where someone was digitising negatives using a light box and a digital camera fitted with a macro lens. The results looked good enough to make me want to try it. When I was using film years ago, scanning just wasn’t good enough, and printing was the only way to work with the images. Now, this technique has changed that for me.
I tried it, and was astonished. Suddenly the true qualities of film were revealed.
Black and white has all the tones and detail, thanks to the large medium format negative, and colour is treated equally impressively.
All of these images have been “scanned” by photographing the negatives on a light box, and reversing them with a piece of software that corrects the colour and removes the film base tint. Other than that, these are all virtually straight out of the camera.
Because a roll of film is finite, and you can’t delete shots, you automatically take your time with your setup, and only take photographs that you believe are worth taking. This instills great discipline, discipline that was lost when film originally fell out of favour, to be replaced with “freedom”. This freedom leads in certain respects to snap-happiness. Take enough photos, and one of them will eventually turn into an worthwhile image. When shooting film though, every shot counts.
Bringing film back into my armoury, has helped improve my photography in general, which then pays off with my digital work too. Those old cameras are just a joy to use, too!