Which step of the analogue ritual do you like most?


Almost one year ago, I began to experiment with Lomography. Since the very first moment, I was caught by those new feelings that analogue photography aroused in me. Without thinking about it, I started shooting more and more film, and my loyal digital SLR was not payed as much attention as before. I was only aware that analogue photograph made me think about new ways to experiment with it for the whole day long.

Last Monday was a holiday in Spain, so I went out with some friends to take photos of my city, Madrid, as the evening fell. I took my digital SLR, and for that special occasion, I decided to give the first ride to a wonderful Halina Paulette that my girlfriend’s parents gave to me.

So I started shooting. With one camera in each hand, it was like a duel between digital and analog photography taking place literally in front of my nose. And, honestly, I felt captivated by all that magic surrounding the analogue. And I started to think about what was making the difference.

Shooting with my digital SLR is like compose, adjust the exposition, and then shoot. That’s all. I can instantly see the results on the LCD, correct anything on the fly, and shoot thirty more times to later choose the best picture on my computer. Quite boring, isn’t it?

At that moment I had my revelation and I understood that the fascinating and captivating thing inside analogue photography is not only the resulting photo itself, but the whole ritual that takes place before and after taking a photo.

Let me explain it. It’s the concurrency of a lot of individually enchanting tiny facts what makes the whole experience so irresistible. For example:

  • Choosing a new film to try. The ISO, the grain, the sprockets or the paper, the tint you’ll get when developed.
  • Choosing the personality of the camera that you want to be shown on the final result.
  • Carefully setting up the exposition, usually without photometer nor any reference. Just experience and experimentation. Don’t you feel that thing in your tummy when you press the Diana F+ shutter in the bulb mode?? Wow. There are no words.
  • Taking the film to the lab, and anxiously expecting to see the results. Have you ever seen your own face when you take the developed film out of the envelope and look at this on a light?? Such a glorious moment.
  • Scanning every roll, and pampering every picture so you can capture most of its essence from the film to the file.
  • Archiving, writing down a note, and carefully keeping them as your very precious treasure.
  • Sharing your creations, and expecting for likes, comments, and suggestions on Lomography.com.
  • Making new experiments or repeating the ones you like most, with the certainty that those results will be never exactly reproduced again.

These are only a few examples. If you think about it, for sure you’ll find a lot of that tiny steps in the ritual of capturing an analogue photograph. There is where the magic grows.

Which one is your favorite?

Credits: vgzalez

written by vgzalez on 2010-11-04


  1. pulex
    pulex ·

    great blog! i love everything, from choosing film to the smell of chemicals!! since i started developing C-41 at home i love it even more cause i can do what i want!! Digital cant keep up!

  2. lighttomysoul
    lighttomysoul ·

    yeah. digital is too easy, too boring. I like this! You've captured the essence :)

  3. tallgrrlrocks
    tallgrrlrocks ·

    I like choosing the personality of the camera that goes with a certain film, too :)
    Part of the analogue fun!

  4. rav_bunneh
    rav_bunneh ·

    I like all the various aspects of analog photography. Mostly, however, I love that feeling just milliseconds before you press the shutter. That mechanical *click* sound that is a little different on each and every camera.

  5. vicuna
    vicuna ·

    you're so right in describing this exciting analogue ritual! :) And in fact I like all of these steps! Shooting is soooo exciting, and choosing the film, the iso, the camera is a "preparation" ritual I really like too...Ok, the one I like the most perhaps is to discover the film when I just picked it up from the lab, I hardly can wait to be at home to uroll it and have a first quick look. Then at home I take my time to look at the negative more in detail and enjoy it... only after that I start scanning, discovering new things, before I discover them fully once scanned and uploaded/tagged. After all the work done, I also enjoy to look at the album on my home, and sometimes re-discover things i didn't see in the previous steps! Soo exciting... In fact, digital is kind of frustrating...

  6. vgzalez
    vgzalez ·

    hey, dudes! thanks to all of you posting comments and saying "I like it" :) !!

  7. princess_crocodile
    princess_crocodile ·

    I especially love to try new films, to get to know my (or a new camera^^), to get a film back and to open the envelope, and to share the results with others.