Why I Shoot Film for Fun

by Harrison Galgut 4 months ago in film

And I don't mean video.

Why I Shoot Film for Fun

So the N90s (or F90x) is from the mid-90s? Isn't shooting film about getting to the heart of manual exposure, and diving back to the basics of photography?

Firstly, I would like to address that comment, most to all pro photographers (just look at Don McCullins work in Vietnam (or more pictures of him there)) used light meters in the 60s and 70s, and put the settings into their cameras then adjusted accordingly to the kind of look they like (I like deep shadows so I underexpose, and I do the same with this camera too).

Secondly, for me, shooting film is not about getting back to manual exposures as I do all my professional work on manual mode... So I am constantly getting manual exposures together, and that part doesn't bother me.

What is in it for me.

Well film cameras add time between taking and viewing. It is so easy to have an instant gratification loop. By having, and supporting, this loop can have an affect on your (and mine) health (I have explored the effects of mental health and mobile phones in relation to photography in a different article). The more I work as a photographer, the more I have come to realise that the instant gratification loop is dangerous as I spend so much time in the loop during my work life, I feel it is important to step out of the loop so that I can relax, and spend time away from the world.

If you have an interest in photography I would advise having a go at shooting film so you can experience it. But, remember it is about slowing the process down and stepping back from the instant gratification loop and allowing you the time to process the world, and not to rush from location to location.

What is good about the Loop

The instant gratification loop does have a benefit, not a strong one in my opinion, but for the point of a fair discussion lets have a look. The instant gratification is a little like cocaine, (I do not condone the use of drugs, neither do I use any illegal narcotics or abuse legal ones) from all accounts the first use is a huge rush and feels great. Yet, the more you use, and the more regularly you use, the weaker the effect, and so bigger doses are required to have the same rush. The same is true for all sorts of things. If we look at Instagram for a minute, which is a very popular way of presenting photographs to the world, but it still isn't the only way of presenting them. But, the first time you post onto Instagram, and someone likes your photo you get a small rush from that. The more you post the less those likes have an affect.

The Loop makes small little changes really impactful. The same as when the first time you take a really good picture and you see it. My job as a Photographer means I have to always take really good pictures, so the rush from it is lessened unless it is particularly amazing. When I send a roll of film off I get excited about how they are going to return, and that is where the I get a buzz. The fact I don't know is what excites me. I am adding time to the process of photography to give me some freedom and space to enjoy myself.

Time is important, time breaks the instant gratification loop, which will allow you to break the mould of rushing everywhere, and the need to be entertained at all times.

In the end it is about what you want to do, and how you like to shoot. I also think film gives a certain aesthetic to the image, which digital lacks, I am talking more about the softness than anything else.

Maybe give it a go, and see how you get on, it wont happen perfectly, and you will need to spend some time on it. I would advise by starting off getting either a, Nikon F90 or F100, or a Canon EOS 5 or EOS 500n, as they have autofocus, and will take modern lenses from each brand.

I hope you enjoyed this, and found it interesting and inspiring, just go out and shoot and starting enjoying it.

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Read next: What Makes Us Photographers?
Harrison Galgut

Professional Wedding, Events and Portrait Photographer. Always looking for new experiences and people to meet. Have a look at my work: www.edit6.co.uk

See all posts by Harrison Galgut