Film photography is one of a kind. Even as photographic technology continues to advance in the digital age, nothing comes close to recreating or delivering the special qualities of a film roll better than the film photography medium itself. What are the things that film photography really gives us that make our routine so extraordinary? For the holidays, we list five special gifts which film has blessed us.
The camera has faced several advances in this digital and highly technological era, inevitably redefining the aesthetics that it produces in an image. Perfect pixels have become a norm for commercial and general uses. However, nothing replicates the sentimentality that film-produced photographs can give to us. The grain, the light leaks, the colors, the slight imperfections — all that create that visual imagery of our transient experiences.
Due to the film camera’s more straightforward mechanism, people shoot film for the very reason that it results in more “authentic” and candid imagery. However, what does “authentic” truly mean for the film lover? For plenty of Lomographers, authenticity is the absence of manipulation: the preservation of the unadulterated memory. “Editing” in the analogue routine requires more effort, hence makes it easier for us to embrace our reality.
Be it with our online storage or boxes in the attic, sometimes we make hasty decisions of decluttering, only for us to regret things later. We could only wish to turn back time to undo the action.
When you’re photographing on analogue, rest assured it will take more than just throwing your film negatives in the garbage to completely “delete” your shots. Film negatives, especially when stored properly, are a bit sturdier and more permanent. After all, there’s a reason why there are countless “rescued film rolls” stories that were told and shared. Negatives have proven to be able to stand the test of time and human error.
Nothing challenges the creative photographer than working within certain limitations. As film only comes in either 12, 24, or 36 shots per roll, this makes the shooter more discerning and thoughtful of their routine and composition. It tests our patience and our skill to find the snap-worthy moments. We become more attentive to our surroundings and the people around us more than ever.
And within the limits, how does one attempt to go beyond and produce a worthwhile image? These challenges that film brings make us even more creative and innovative with our work. We become more experimental to push the limits of analogue.
And as we break boundaries on film, our photographs get set apart from the rest. Film effortlessly makes our work distinguished and unique. There are no two shots of the same kind. Even as we attempt to reproduce an image or composition, the spontaneity and unpredictability of film in each shot make us also inevitably welcome the uniqueness of each other and ourselves as artists.
As a film photographer, what’s the best gift you’ve ever received from the analogue routine? Share it with us in the comments below.
Surprise your friends with the Gifts of Film Photography with an analogue camera or film from the Online Shop.