Why Do People Keep Coming Back to Film Photography?


Our small community is no stranger to the wonders of film photography. After all, that's what binds us all together in the first place! We love everything about film — its little quirks, light streaks, imperfections, flaws and all. We embrace those things wholeheartedly because that's just how we are. But what about other people who aren't from our community? How do they look at film photography?

Credits: pinkbutterfly

Well, there's recently been a resurgence of film photographers of different age and backgrounds. The interest is there and that's all the spark you need to get things going. Let's count some of the things that make people go back to shooting with film:

Credits: frenchyfyl & allyfusco

Film Photography is Exciting

There's no denying this one. Film photography is just straight up entertaining and exciting. It's fun to play around with settings, different cameras, and types of films and that's one good reason to go back to shooting with film. Instant gratification has somewhat made things too fleeting — not having to wait for your images means that you shoot more things and just pick the best one. That takes away the excitement, it makes things bland. Film photography is about living life and we think we could all do with a little sprinkle of 'exciting' in our lives.

Credits: tinasprinkles & lucianmuntean

Making Images Will Always be a Unique Experience

Memory is a powerful thing and film photography can sometimes be all about that. Seeing that streak of light on your print can invoke a magical feeling in you years after you've taken it. You remember that trip to the beach or that trek up a mountain that presented you with such a majestic view that you knew that you just had to take a photo of it.

Credits: montagu & why-yu

Shooting with Film Makes You Think More About Your Shot Before You Take It

You see things differently. You imagine how your shots are going to look like even before you peer into the viewfinder. You want to capture that moment as it is. Waiting for the right moment seems logical and the image you capture stays with you. Suddenly, 24 or 36 shots per roll seem enough for you. There's no need to rush because you know deep down that the 'decisive moment' may just be around the corner.

Credits: roman_roy

Analogue Photographs Have a Distinct Look and Feel to Them

Even the process feels different. Film photographs are commanding — they demand attention and a closer look. You can feel the emotion and mood of the photographer who made them. The mere choice of film tells a story.

Credits: jimmie

You Can Re-Learn Photography by Shooting with Film

Going back to film is like going back to basics — you rediscover things you may have missed. Photography is an ongoing process. Learning and mastering things like ISO, aperture, shutter speed, depth of field, and the likes will make you a more aware photographer. Photographers who shoot with film know that there are limited shots so everything has to be in order to make the image work. That's one of the great things about shooting with film — you get to understand your camera and your self more as you go on.

Credits: yokekei & ishifishy

Vintage Camera Gear Is Fascinating

Every camera nut will have a grail film camera sitting on a pedestal in their house or work space. That one camera that gets special treatment because it holds great value to them. Shooting with film opens the door to a whole new understanding of the camera as a tool and as a piece of art. The more you get to know these machines, the more you understand what happens in the image making process. We mean, come on, don't you just love seeing insanely beautiful film cameras?

These are but some things that make people go back to shooting with film. Comment down below if you want to add anything to the list. We know you're itching to share the reasons why film is still your top choice.

2018-03-27 #culture


  1. smolda
    smolda ·

    Also an amazing opportunity to experiment. :)

  2. sirio174
    sirio174 ·

    Digital is too perfect to represents an imperfect world

  3. herbert-4
    herbert-4 ·

    @sirio174 I think film can be more perfect! How many megapixels does a well exposed and well focused 6x9cm slide shot on Fujifilm Velvia 50 RVP 120 with Fuji GSW690III represent??

  4. flamingoid
    flamingoid ·

    All these reasons make sense. Maybe I'm wrongfully extrapolating and generalizing from my own experience, but it also could have something to do with the global omnipresence of digital photography and its overuse for trivial purposes (anything on social networks basically, advertisement, and so on and forth). It's become trite and insignificant whereas film has retained the reputation of an artistic medium. Creating an image using film requires patience and experience, when anybody over the age of three with a phone in their hand can snap countless pictures away.

    Besides, there sure is a certain appeal to have a physical support, a proof, a tangible image when everything that can be dematerialized consistently is. For the same reason a postcard has much more impact on an emotional level than an email.

  5. sirio174
    sirio174 ·

    @herbert-4 It is not a question of megapixels. Every film batch is different, developments are always different, while a digital camera reproduce the same scene, in the same light conditions, in the same way. There is a "perfect imperfection", a "perfect tolerance error" in every analogue art. For example a piano or an harpsichord behaves every day in a different (slightly) way: the temperature of the room, the humidity affect the sound. While an electronic keyboard has always the same sound. Writing a letter with an old typewriter is different that using a word editor. With the first one, even the different pressure on the keyboard change the aspect of letter you write.

  6. pmonroe
    pmonroe ·

    What a great read!

  7. gizz54
    gizz54 ·

    Film photography just too much fun. Only time I use a digital camera is up into an enlarger to scan my negs.

  8. herbert-4
    herbert-4 ·

    @sirio174 I was thinking in terms of color and image resolution, and what a human eye sees. Fujifilm Velvia 50 resolves 160 lines per mm (almost Kodachrome 25), so the 6x9 slide would be about 480 megapixels of information. Here's Ken Rockwell's explanation: kenrockwell.com/tech/film-resolution.htm Anyway, I like your explanation...

  9. herbert-4
    herbert-4 ·

    @sirio174 The best explanation I've read was the Japanese School Girl one I read in some magazine in a restaurant, waiting for to-go order. She said, "I shoot film photos because digital is just too insincere!"

  10. jaunman
    jaunman ·

    Unconditional love.

  11. munk37
    munk37 ·

    Film looks to be on the up and up. I enjoy collecting old film cameras anyway and have noticed on eBay that prices are creeping up over the last few months. There are still bargains to be had and I enjoy getting a 'spares or repairs' camera to repair and renovate. The mechanisms on the old cameras are beautifuly made things and a far step from their younger, mass-produced digital cousins.

  12. cubrilovic
    cubrilovic ·

    Another thing is meanwhile initial costs. Development is again cheap. Here in Germany 2.5 Euro for the 34 shots. Cameras are cheap if you get the right one (gotta F4s for lesser than cheapest dslr).
    And the most in between shooting goes anyway with the mobile phone. So phone/ film camera combination works better for many than digital bulky camera.

  13. dimalx
    dimalx ·

    It is the feeling of loading a New film and the procedure of the development your own film at home, waiting To see your negatives.

  14. montagu
    montagu ·

    Thanks for the featured photo @lomographymagazine definitely lots of thought went into that photograph. I only have one plate holder for glass, thus I have to get it right in one go;)

  15. moodyblues
    moodyblues ·

    Film photography is unique and personal. All the decisions that go into making a film image are what make this so.It depends on the camera , lens, film . These things give each photo an intangible feel that conveys the photographers mood at the time of exposure.

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