Only On Film: A Celebration of Analogue "Mistakes"


For most photographers, light leaks and prominent grain are considered eyesores. So, it's interesting that photo editing apps and software have replicated these "flaws" as overlays and filters, and sometimes you even have to pay to unlock them! It's true, these imperfections can be unsightly if you're aiming for a perfect portrait or a flawless landscape, but don't beat yourself up if they occasionally show up in your photos. Acknowledge that these are natural occurrences on film and that they can add character to a photograph.

Credits: paulinegoasmat & reneg88

Film Grain

Analogue photographers are divided on this one—some prefer their photos to be sharp and clean, while others don't mind a sprinkling of grain on theirs. Film grain exists due to the presence of metallic silver particles when film is processed. Its structure may vary depending on various factors, such as a high ISO setting; the higher the ISO, the more visible the grain. Like it or not, grain is a true characteristic of film.

Credits: zulupt, saidseni, julirai & careohhleenuh

Film Burn

Film burn usually occurs when a roll of film is first loaded into a camera, and plenty of film photographers find this first-frame-burns charming. Lomographer @gheinz has an entire album dedicated to this, and curator Marion Herbain encourages photographers to submit their photos for the Instagram profile aptly named "First of the Roll".

Credits: kamart, gheinz & shannonlloyd

Lens Flare

Probably the most bothersome of all is when these halos dominate a photo. Lens flare happens when light hits the lens, and to avoid this, you should be using a lens hood or shield the light with your hand. But, as seen through the photos below, it can unexpectedly add a bit of magic.

Credits: jsmcbride, taraville, nerdsoup & pulex

What do you think of these film flaws? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

written by shhquiet on 2022-06-09 #culture #lens-flare #grain #light-leaks #mistakes #grainy #first-of-the-roll #film-burn


  1. hetmasteen
    hetmasteen ·

    All these things are among the many why I shoot film. It’s real!!!

  2. bvoldanova
    bvoldanova ·

    the one of many reasons why I love film photography...even though it's considered flaw, it makes the photo somehow more interesting

  3. tracyvmoore
    tracyvmoore ·

    Great article ;) Awesome shots. Totally agree!

  4. stereograph
    stereograph ·

    thats what real lo-fi photographers are after! i love this because it lacks perfection! its real!

  5. gheinz
    gheinz ·

    Great post, and many thanks @shhquiet!!!

  6. manu2021
    manu2021 ·

    BEAUTIFUL article. As others say: it's real!

  7. roogus
    roogus ·

    I love lens flare! I try to purposely make them happen.

  8. nickihoy
    nickihoy ·

    I absolutely love them! I have a few that turned up in my scans as well and I think they really give character. Happy accidents are great!

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