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The Relevance of Film Photography – Arts + Culture

The Relevance of Film Photography

November 18, 20173 min read

Photography has been a big part of my life for around four years now; the aspect of freezing a moment in time and capturing it forever will never fail to keep me interested. Recently, my mom purchased some 35mm film for her old film camera that has been sitting on my bookshelf collecting dust.

A few weeks ago, before taking our dog to a nature trail, she helped me load the film for the first time. Over the span of two weekends spent in multiple nature areas, I shot 24 photographs. This past weekend, my first developed film roll was finally delivered, and to say that I am happy with the results would be an understatement.

Here are the results along with some reasons that I hope will encourage you to try your hand at film photography:

Taken at James Farm Ecological Preserve. My dog, Pacey, decided to take a break from running around.

My sister walking down another nature trail in her signature red coat.

Why you should give it a try:

Unlike digital photography, you do not have the luxury of seeing the image as soon as you’ve taken it. Depending on where you go, or which site you use, developing film can take days or even weeks. The anticipation that builds up between the time in which you take the photos and when you receive the film is what I can only describe as a mini Christmas. There is a much greater feeling of excitement incorporated with film photography than there is with digital. 

My pup waiting “patiently” in the car.

In this day and age, everybody has a smartphone which comes with its own built in camera; with that comes the ideology that “everybody is a photographer.” In no way am I contradicting this statement, because yes, technically speaking, everyone can be a photographer if they want! But, if you have a genuine interest in photography, I believe that having knowledge of the different types and techniques is important.

With a majority of the population obsessed with instant results, film photography may seem like a hassle. It may seem like an old time trend that should have died out years and years ago. But this generation appears to be the one to continue bringing back style and lifestyle trends from previous decades (i.e. vinyl records, scrunchies, mom jeans, etc.), so this revival of film only feels necessary and familiar.

We must distance ourselves from our constant need for instantaneous responses and images. Sometimes it is good to have patience. Patience in photography allows our images to be that much more special when we first lay our eyes on them. Give it a try. You never know what you might be able to capture.