I have a friend who’s taking a class in B&W photography, meaning he’s using film. You know, that old stuff that we used to use in cameras. He’s even doing his own developing and printing. Since he, like me, has gone heavily digital, he ended up purchasing a new (ised) film camera as his old film camera had bit the dust.
I still have a batch of film stuff hanging around. In fact, on Monday I’m going to load up the enlarger and take it to him. That means someone is going to get some use out of it, and I get to clean up my garage a bit. This is not a bad thing.
His excitement prompted me to buy a roll of film. I was just doing a quick run, to make sure everything still worked. After all, with film there is no immediate feedback, no chimping. I did my 24 shots in a few minutes around the house, then took the film to be developed. When I got it back, I did a quick scan, meaning I’m doing the hybrid thing. I’m analog in the camera and digital once the roll is back in my hands.
I was a bit surprised at how well it turned out, although there’s a scratch on the film. I need to figure out if that was caused by the camera or the processing. And I was surprised at how much more work film really is to use. I’m spoiled by my digital cameras: the immediate feedback is wonderful, the “free” cost of each exposure, the no-need to take 24 images before I can process any of them, and the simplicity of transferring images to the computer from the camera are all wonderful.
But film forced me to slow down and think. Maybe that’s something I should be thankful for.
Even if my subject is just a fence.