When I first approached 35mm film photography the only tool that I had was my dad’s Praktica SLR – thanks dad! : ) – and a 50mm lens. With his advices I learnt how to read the built in light meter, focus and shoot fully manual – basic stuff, but got me hooked!
I now use predominantly digital SLR’s, but recently purchased a Minolta CLE rangefinder which I’m using consistently with Ilford HP5+ 400 and Kodak Tri-x 400 films.
One may question, what’s the advantage of shooting with 35mm film photography when digital cameras can provide a higher resolution, quick preview and better control overall in terms of exposure and dynamic range?
I won’t brag about organic grain, dynamic range and so on as, at the end of the day, this can all be achieved very easily with software available on the market for affordable prices. I guess one of my main reasons for shooting film is that analog photography forces me to slow down, think more carefully about the composition, light and to take a note of the photos that I’m taking as all these parameters won’t show in the EXIF data for further analysis later on.
Also, on a nostalgic note, shooting film takes me back to the “mystery” that photography once was: not being able to check photos right away and looking at them, sometimes, months after being taken creates the same sense of anticipation I had when I first started, but also a form of “detachment”, as if those photos weren’t even mine – in short, it just forces me to a more disciplined approach before and during the moment of taking a photo, while creating a more objective state of mind when I can finally take a look at the results.
A few scans of my film photos below – I haven’t chosen a lab yet for scans so I’m trying different ones around London and self scanning (with DSLR/Macro lens); If you know of a good reliable lab in London that provides high resolution scans please feel free to let me know with a comment below, that would be much appreciated 🙂