It’s been a while since I’ve blogged. If you follow me on my social channels, you’ll know why! But there is another reason. I’ve actually been shooting a bunch of film lately. Film is always something that I’ve loved. For me, it was the nostalgia of film that initially got me shooting it again. But the more I shot, the more I realised I just loved the process. The anticipation of not knowing how your shots would turn out until your roll is developed… The surprise and delight when you finally see the images and find shots you forgot you took, or weren’t sure would work out. And, as time has gone on, I’ve definitely fallen in love with the fact that I don’t have to spend hours in front of my computer editing. Once your film shots are developed and scanned, that’s it! They are done. Perfect. Provided you got them right in camera, of course ;-)
The frames I am sharing today were shot back in 2015. It had been over a decade since I’d shot any film, let alone on a manual body + lens. The camera was my dad’s Canon AE-1 + 50mm f1.4 , the very same setup that most of our childhood photos were taken on! The camera hadn’t been used in a good 15 years, and thankfully only required a battery change to get up and running again.
Of course, going from digital back to film is no easy transition, and to be honest I think I fluked a lot of these shots! On digital, you often underexpose images to save detail, because detail is always retained in the shadows but quickly lost in the highlights. Film is the complete opposite, and underexposed images usually can’t be saved. On the other hand, film can be overexposed to a mind-boggling degree, and you’ve still got amazing shots!
Then, you have aperture to deal with. On digital cameras, you can easily shoot as wide as f1.4 and still have images which are tack sharp in the middle. On film, images captured with wide-open apertures quickly become a beautiful, blurry mess (which you’ll discover if you ever miss focus!).
If you’re a perfectionist, and your thing is perfectly sharp, grain-free images, than film probably isn’t for you. For me, I love that film has helped me to let go of the idea that images need to be “perfect” in order to make you feel something. My favourite images now aren’t the ones where I nailed focus and got a technically perfect shot. Nope, they’re always the ones that tug at my heartstrings, because I’ve captured a moment I may not have if I’d been worried about it being perfect.
So there it is. My first blog post on shooting film, and you can expect many more as I now shoot most of my personal work on film. If you've got a session with me anytime soon and you’d like to include some film shots, just say the word!
Tap or click on the images above to scroll through the slideshow!