Wednesday, 30 September 2015

In Celebration Of Film Photography

This August saw me taking more film photos than any other month since I purchased my beloved film camera, so I thought today I would share my favourite snaps while telling you why I love film photography!

At first, shooting with my Canon AE-1 felt like a totally alien experience... I had no idea how much I depended on my auto-focus or viewfinder screen until both were gone! The first roll felt like such a gamble; I remember taking each shot without the faintest clue whether I was getting something worthwhile.

Thankfully, that first roll came out far better than I expected (for anyone interested you can see it here - I think I've improved somewhat since then!) and I've been snapping away ever since.

Prior to picking up my own film camera, I had often heard people saying that shooting analog helped them to be better photographers. Now I can totally understand what those people meant: as every shot is precious, and any duff pic feels like a waste, I am far more careful with how I frame each image. Getting things straight, in focus and correctly exposed seemed unthinkable at first; it took me a very long time before I moved away from the automatic function! I have however grown far better at doing all three and shooting with my digital camera now feels far easier (though much less rewarding... Film really does look better!)

For anyone who doesn't own a film camera or have any experience from learning photography, I still urge you to look into finding one for yourself. I bought mine knowing next to nothing about photography and it has been an amazing learning process.

If you are starting out:

  • Make sure your load your film properly. There is no worse feeling than finding out those special shots you were so proud to capture are lost. Before I really got to grips with my camera, there were several failed film rolls that still sadden me now!
  • Shop around for a good deal. I bought my camera on Gumtree with a couple of lenses and equipment for a bargain so good it bordered on theft... So it is well worth taking your time and doing your research.
  • Read up on photography basics. I read Helena La Petite's exposure series when I was just getting my head around manual settings and really recommend it.
  • Get to grips with your specific camera. I bought one with its original manual, but also found a wealth of resources online, including some incredibly detailed YouTube videos.
  • Have fun. Just get shooting. Mess up spectacularly. Learn to love a good light leak. Then come and show me any of your faves, I would love to see them!

Have you guys got the film bug yet? It is a gorgeous way to save your memories! I am also putting together a post on my favourite film photographers too, so stay tuned...


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