“okay one, two, three, S M I L E”
I get different reactions when I tell people I still shoot film. They either look at me confused and shocked as if I have 2 heads, or we sit and reminisce about film and old cameras and prized shots and late great photographers and become great pals. I can easily say I much more enjoy the second reaction. I have been lucky enough to fall into a worldwide community of superb film shooters and it feels like coming home. It is interesting to hear why so many photographers are still choosing to shoot film and I thought my readers would like to hear a new perspective as well. I asked a fellow photographer from Brisbane Australia, Toni Raper of Maeve Photography to share her thoughts on shooting film. Following are her words and gorgeous photographs.
WHY I SHOOT FILM
I learnt photography in the digital era and despite its ease and convenience, images recorded on my memory card never felt ‘real’ to me. I began longing for a more honest and authentic way to make a picture, a way that didn’t require large amounts of my time spent in front of a computer to look good.
I found it in this old school thing called analogue film.
I began looking at other photographers work who were already using the medium and felt moved in a way that I never had before. It looked dimensional, dreamy, romantic and perfectly imperfect.
Film has this nostalgic quality, a mesmerising tangible softness that replaced the ‘too sharp’ and ‘perfect’ look I knew with digital capture.
I became smitten with film’s organic character and soul, its ‘painterly’ looking backgrounds and beautiful soft colour palette.
There was no question in my mind that I wanted to start shooting film for myself.
I began devouring every bit of information available to teach myself and purchased some gear. I reached out to others for help and a man named Jonathan Canlas became my Yoda.
I really enjoy knowing the photographs I take using film really are just the true moments as I saw them in front of me. I want them to be true, not faked and tricked up in Photoshop.
The entire process of shooting film is different. It requires a more precise, intentional way of shooting. It forces me to slow down and wait for just the right second before I press the shutter. It forces me to compose more thoughtfully.
I am learning to choose the moments I want to capture instead of trying to get them ALL. I have to pick and choose what is really most important to shoot because there are only 16 exposures on my roll of film and each one costs me money.
The anticipation of having to wait to see my images come back from the lab makes it all the more special, each time it is as exciting as Christmas was when I was a child.
There is not a day goes by when I don’t think about film and how it makes me feel when I shoot it.
It has my heart. It’s in my blood. It sings to my soul.
I think there must be something magical in the light in Australia, I really hope to make it down there one day and see for myself. Until then I will continue to bathe in the beautiful photography from all the talented Aussie Photographers.
Take a look at more of Toni’s gorgeous film work at Maeve Photography
I loaned my voice on the subject of shooting film on the blog of Craig Stephen. You can peruse his lovely work and my guest blog post and photographs here: Craig-Stephen.co.uk
November was such a mixed up, messed up, strange and confusingly busy month. Without going into public detail, I know I will look at each of these photographs and be flooded with memories, good and sad. Sometimes I wonder if having a life so well examined is such a good thing in the end. Maybe our minds were meant to forget…
SO. I have 30 days left in this 2nd year of Project 365. Just one month. I wonder what’s next?
I am getting some of my first rolls of film back from my days down at ArtPrize in September. The art was of course fabulous, and I really loved immersing myself with other artists and chatting with all the creative people hanging around downtown. This is a band called Bennett. You can find them on facebook here: BennettBand and you can download their new EP here: http://bennettband.bandcamp.com/ I have “Wait For Me, Brother.” Love it.