Why I Still Photograph With Film

I love photographing with film.  In today’s high tech digital world I’m a dinosaur. When I place a roll of film in the camera it is as though I’m performing a ritualistic act. The process starts by taking the film out of the plastic canister and holding the roll in my hands. It’s a nice comforting feeling. The plastic shell case is industrial looking and reminds me of something that is solid and is built to last. The roll of film is tangible in my hands, not digital bits and pieces of photo’s floating around someplace inside a camera or computer’s hard drive.

Using a film camera is a personal experience that brings photography to its most simplistic form and connects the photographer, the camera and the film all as one unit.  I proceed to load the film into the camera, snap the door shut and press the shutter button a couple of times listening as the camera rapidly moves the film strip across the teeth. The film is locked and loaded and ready to go. In my hands, I hold the camera and feel an inner satisfaction that I’m well equipped. The roll of film is my blank canvas. Not too much fiddling with electronic gadgets. The film camera is ease of operation so the artist can focus on creativity and individual vision not the equipment.  A transcendental experience!

Holding a slide or print between my fingers is a very warm feeling. I store all my images in specialized storage boxes, then place the boxes wrapped in heavy duty plastic bags inside freezers. With a temperature at around negative ten degrees, the images will last 100’s of years. Yes, I can also make a print from a digital file, but having each individual picture, in its hard format, is priceless to me. There are no worries of the photo being deleted on my hard drive or lost in cyberspace. I also have no concerns about technology changing

Slide film or also called E6 is my 35mm film of choice. Unfortunately, kodachrome slide film is no longer available.  It is even becoming increasingly difficult to develop slide film. Even purchasing slide film is becoming more and more problematic. I now have to purchase all of my slide film by mail order. Fuji Velvia and Provia are the films that I’m mostly purchasing these days.  I used to work with Kodak E100VS, but this slide film is no longer manufactured by Kodak. I still have a couple of bricks of Kodak E100VS in a freezer and using it only during special instances. Print film choices are also dwindling by the day, but at least it is much easier to develop print film than slide film. I’m currently using Kodak Ektar 100 print film. The colors and saturation are fantastic. The march of time and innovation must continue to move forward and technology will constantly change our lives, but I sure hope that film will continue to be available during my lifetime.

 

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