The Magic of Film Photography

 In Articles, film photography

There is just no way to say it without sounding like a hipster but in my honest opinion, I think film photography is miles ahead better than digital and it will never be able to come close to it. Now, let me tell you why before you think I am the most pretentious person you have ever met.

This is a shot from my first ever roll on 35mm film on Kodak Portra 400. I remember that day so clearly, my best friend and his wife were down in Brownsville to visit and I spent that whole day with them. I had barely taken any shots on film and wanted to test out the first analog camera I ever bought, my Praktica MTL3. I shot stuff around the restaurant we ate, the mall we walked around in, and the property where my best friend lived at. I shot all those 36 frames and carefully selected what I wanted to capture, but then the limitations of film slapped me across the face. As I was rewinding the film into its canister I was growing impatient and opened the door exposing more than half of my roll and once developed only was left with 12 pictures and out of those only 6 was usable.

There is something so freeing and beautiful about having to plan your shot and then wait for a while to get my scans back. Film is naturally so nostalgic but there is this sense of wonder that comes with the tones and grain of the medium. I have shot a plethora of black and white and color rolls throughout my experience with analog. I love the grittiness and simplicity of black and white, but I also adore the abstractness of color.

Digital just cannot replicate that same feeling of film photography and as much as I search for a deeper admiration for digital I keep coming back to film photography more and more. Maybe it is just the aesthetic captured within this medium or the challenge that comes with shooting on film. Of course, you can’t expose digital to light and mess up your whole roll, but even then those imperfections and mess-ups can improve your photo. Maybe I just sound like a total hipster, but with every roll, I fall more and more in love with the uniqueness of film. Here’s to you and your beauty, analog.

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  • Emily Frazee

    The closest experience I’ve had to film photography is the ultimate hipster one. The modern polaroid, in its attempt to replicate the same sentiment from its predecessors, has left me feeling more like I’m part of a contrived trend than truly enjoying the art of capturing a carefully composed photograph. Although I do appreciate photos in any medium, I value your assessment of film, and recognize how there could be something very special about doing it the “real” way.

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