Author’s Note: Welcome back to Hillsboro@20, a weekly recount of my thoughts and experiences as a 20-year-old living in Hillsboro, OR. In this fifth installment, I justify my passion for film photography. So take some time and enjoy the read.
Many trends from the 1970s and 80s are being resurfaced in my generation. I have especially enjoyed the revival of film photography.
For those who are unfamiliar, film photography involves the use of 35mm or 120 medium format film with an analog film camera. The contrary being a digital camera that utilizes a memory card. Unlike their digital counterpart, film cameras provide no preview of the shots taken. Rather, one must get their roll of film developed in order to view the photographs. This process may take weeks or months until completion. While this may not sound ideal, I find it to be one of the greatest appeals of using a film camera.
In our current digital age, immediate results can be produced from minimal effort. Any smartphone, for example, can capture a given moment with a single tap of one’s screen. While this is incredibly practical, it strays from the craft and authenticity of photography. Film cameras deny this instant gratification and, in my opinion, ultimately provide greater satisfaction.
The other day, I received a collection of film scans from my most recent roll I had submitted to be developed a few weeks ago. It felt like Christmas morning. I could finally learn if my shots were properly lit and framed and appreciate them if they were. Moreover, with some photographs dating back to the winter of last year, I enjoyed reliving some of my favorite memories.
I particularly like shooting film on vacations and trips. That way, I can reflect on my experiences weeks later when the shots are developed.
In addition to the delayed gratification film photography provides, I find that it encourages the prioritization of intention. Film is expensive. Every photograph taken costs money. Therefore, one must be more thoughtful about their chosen shots. When I shoot film, I aim to compose my images so that everything in the frame is purposeful. I have a limited amount of exposures and want every one to be meaningful to me.
Finally, the colors film generates are simply incomparable. It is very difficult to achieve the same tones with a digital camera. Furthermore, the various presets people use nowadays when editing photos are all attempts to replicate the colors of various film stocks. It is easiest and most genuine to obtain these colors with a film camera.
Like many other returning trends, film photography has provided newer generations with a medium for pursuing authentic and iconic practices. I, for one, am certainly enjoying its rebirth.
For more 35mm film photographs of mine visit https://bvandehey.myportfolio.com/work