Film was what I initially learned photography on. Back in High School and then college at Brooks Institute of Photography, film was the standard. Nowadays, kids hardly ever touch the stuff, and until recently, I’ve been guilty of that as well. It’s the instant gratification of digital photography that I believe has taken a bit of the art out of photography. Film requires you know have a solid grasp on exposure, composition, and timing. You can’t just crack off hundreds of photos and hope one comes out. Shooting on film requires a lot more forethought and planning in order to get a solid photo.
My grandfather was an avid photographer, and not just one that took family portraits and pictures of pretty flowers in the yard. He had a darkroom, owned nearly every size and style of camera available, entered—and won—numerous photography competitions, and even built his own view cameras. To this day, I still have black and white photos he shot hanging on the walls of my house. When I decided to become a professional photographer, my grandmother began handing down my grandfather’s cameras to me. In college, I used his Horseman 4×5 camera, and when I became a little older, I was gifted his Hasselblad 500C. It wasn’t until recently, though—due to getting caught up in work and not wanting to take the time to shoot film—that I decided to dust off the over-30-year-old camera and run a few rolls through it. What came out blew me away. Not only was I surprised that the old camera still worked nearly flawlessly, but the entire process of shooting with film brought back so many memories of my introduction to photography. The process, having to nail exposure, and the excitement of picking up the developed rolls from the lab reinvigorated my love of the art. It’s so easy to get caught up in taking pictures and forget why we do it, but my venture back into film has reminded me why. It’s fun shooting for myself and not having to worry if I get the shot or not. I get to have fun, and hopefully come away with a couple good shots that I can print and hang on my walls next to my grandpa’s photos. It’s also a great way to keep my skills and knowledge of the craft sharp. I’ve already shot six rolls through the camera. I’ll post more once I get the time to scan them in.