You should take pictures on a film camera at least once in your lifetime. Why do I say this? Why would someone spend extra money on old and outdated equipment? Well, the answer is simple. Shooting and developing your own pictures adds to the intimacy and appreciation of the art. It reminds you to constantly evaluate your framing and subject since you only have 36 images in a roll of 35mm film.
Why shoot film?
Because it makes you a better photographer, there is a uniqueness to every photo taken is a certain feel and sound of a film camera that is nostalgic. How does it make you a better photographer? it makes you a better photographer and that you have to select your shots more carefully because you only have 36 images per roll of film. There is no burst picture mode like there are in modern DSLR’s which makes you have to rely on your intuitiveness to take pictures at the right moments. Shooting film forces you to slow down and compose your images a little more carefully. There is also a sense of delayed gratification coming from shooting film because you do not see your results immediately. This makes you have to trust your senses and your intuitiveness more than relying on a screen as I had previously done. There is something about an analog device that feels so much better than a digital device in my opinion. I love the feeling of the shudder releasing and the film progressing to the next image, I love capturing the image on an analog device because it feels so much more genuine and unique and that I’m capturing an image on film not digitally. There is also something you so unique about the sounds of a film camera that is unmistakable and that is so satisfying.
How do I know what roll of film to get?
Different brands of the film have different characteristics. One example is of Kodak Portra 400 film being a good film for portraits because of the way they film makes skin look. Another example of a film with characteristics is Fujifilm 400 Pro h which adds a tent of green an image for a cooler feel. There are also different types of black and white film, some are better for landscapes, some are better for urban street photography and, some are better for portraits because of the different shades of black white and gray. There are also films with “light leaks” and colors added into the film such as Psychedelic Blues.
Choosing the right roll of film is critical and getting the image and the correct Vive or feel that you want. You can also alter the image the way you develop the film or the negatives. Certain chemicals will give your pictures a certain color scheme and will completely change the colors of your film your image.
What do the numbers on the side of the role of film mean?
The numbers on the side of a roll of the film have to deal with the sensitivity of Lights of the film. For example the higher the number on the side of the roll of the film The more sensitive to light it is, the darker areas that you can shoot in and have a properly exposed subject. this also means, that the higher the number, the more grain that will be introduced into a picture. all film has grain but the iso is directly relative to the size of the grain. most of the time shooting Outdoors all you need is 100 ISO or a 400 ISO film role and that should be exposed enough for all of your photography needs. However, if you are shooting indoors, I would recommend a minimum of 400 ISO, but I prefer an 800 ISO or film speed. The film also depends on the type of camera that you were shooting with.
A point and shoot film camera usually I recommend a 400 ISO because the camera is automatically choosing the settings for you, where has an SLR has a light meter and you can properly expose the image no matter what type of film you have. This means you can take a long exposure image in the dark with a 100 ISO film and have an image that is properly exposed. This is where ISO on digital cameras today come from.
How do I get my film images online or on my wall?
There are many ways to get your film images online and on your wall. One of the most cost-effective ways of doing this is investing in a developing kit and a scanner, and a printer. this way you can develop your images whenever you get done shooting, scan them into your computer, and print them yourself or post them online. Another way to get your film images is to go into your local camera store and have them develop the film for you. Some of these camera stores have super scans so you can put your images on canvas or a make a big piece out of it.
Another really popular way of getting images online is to use the thedarkroom.com. This is a company that you send in your film and they process it and scan it and send it to you. I personally pay for the development of the film at my local camera store but then I have the scanner that I scan my images to so it only cost me $5 to get a roll of film developed. Something really unique about film is that there are crystals in different depths of the film that capture the light. That is exposed whenever you are taking an image or releasing the shutter, so every single image taken on a film camera is unique and it is very hard to get the exact same image with the randomness of the crystals in the emulsion layer of the film. Right now, we are discussing 35 mm film but there is also other sizes of film such as 120 mm which is considered medium format.
Are film cameras expensive? Where can I find one?
No, film cameras are not expensive depending on what you are looking for. You can go thrift shopping, or go to yard sales and estate sales and find cheap point-and-shoot film cameras for under $20. You can find most modern SLRs for under $100 either online or at your camera store. SLRs are fully manual cameras and have a light meter to properly expose an image, whereas, a point-and-shoots relies solely on the iso and the flash. Then some film cameras, however, such as medium format change are easily over $300, so are 3D cameras. however, there is an emerging market for buying older film cameras and flipping them and selling them and getting the profit.
Shooting film cameras will give you a whole new appreciation for cameras and how far they have come. That is why you must shoot on a film camera at least once in your lifetime.