Shooting Film Photography in the Digital Age

Or handwriting, instead of using a keyboard, this could be an alternative title. First of all, I want to clear something out, I’m not against digital. I don’t think film is better than digital, I see them as being two different mediums through which photographers can express themselves. Like choosing a letter over an email and vice versa. It’s a matter of personal preference.

I began shooting film in 2015, when I got an old Nikon FM as a birthday present. A fully manual camera, no bells and whistles, everything was mechanically operated. The only thing powered by two battery cells was the light meter. I took it for a spin on the streets and I fell in love with it. At first, I was drawn to it by the “mystery” behind every shot I took, not being able to see the end result on the spot. In the age of instant gratification, that could be a big challenge.

I loved the feel of film the instant I got the first rolls developed and scanned. I don’t think it’s something that I can explain, I just felt it as being very warm and lifelike. From that moment on, I continued shooting both digital (DSLR and iPhone) and film. My film camera collection got larger this year, after I got and Olympus OM-1n, together with four Zuiko lenses: 28mm (f/2.8), 35mm (f/2.8), 50mm (f/1.8) and 85mm (f/2). This became instantly my film camera of choice. I simply love its design, operability and quality of the Zuiko lenses. This camera is a great mechanical jewel and I encourage you to read more about it online.

Here are some shots I took with it:

I think it’s important to shoot film at least once in your lifetime, because it can actually help you understand yourself as a photographer. More than that, it will help you learn new things and stimulate your creativity. It will determine you to become more aware of what you are shooting, by making you be more present in the moment. 

I dedicated my last vlog episode to a photo session I did for a friend of mine. Jacob Koopman is a singer-songwriter who lives in Dublin and is planning to release his debut EP. He wanted to do an outdoor photo session on film, to get some shots for the album artwork. For this session I used a roll of Kodak Portra 400 film and I shot with my 28mm, 35mm and 85mm lenses.

I’m linking the episode over here, to let you see how we did. Enjoy! 🙂

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