In today’s day and age of convenience, you might ask why bother using film to take photographs?
After all, a digital camera is cheap and easy. You can take hundreds of photos of anything you like. You can take photos like mad without thinking, and hope one turns out alright. You can delete the poor ones. What could be better?
This is why I have preferred to use my 35mm film camera in preference to my digital camera recently.
Each time I press the shutter on my film camera, I know it’s going to cost me something like 30p in the cost of buying the film, and developing it. So I think twice before I press the button, and the simple act of thinking a second time usually means my photos come out better. I make sure the composure is right, that the lighting is OK and that I haven’t made some mistake that I’ll regret later.
On top of that, I can only get 24 or 36 photos on a roll of film. Sure, I can change films on the move, but this limitation means I don’t want to waste all my exposures. So I save them for something worth taking a photo of.
And besides all the benefits of better photography, it’s fun to develop a black and white film in my bathroom. I find it so satisfying to take a photo on a camera that is fully manual, take the film out, develop it, and then scan it, and the image on the screen has been almost entirely my own work. No assistance from a microprocessor that thinks it knows best.
Clearly film photography isn’t for everyone, and it’s not for every occasion. I still use digital for my Photo Challenge entries where it’s essential to get them from the camera to the web as fast as possible. But if you fancy learning to become a better photographer, then film is a great tutor. Why not have a look at some old cameras on eBay?
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