I’ve been shooting for decades, but always in color. Converting these images to Black and White has held no interest to me over the years. I actually have a rather illogical love/hate relationship with b&w. When I see an image presented in both b&w and in color, I tend to prefer the color version. And …
It was the first week of January 2020 and I was down for the count with a cold. “A perfect start to a new year”, I thought to myself, not realizing what would be in store just a couple of months later. I was home and bored, and for some reason I decided that this downtime would be a perfect opportunity to give film another shot. I’m a Gen-Xer, so I grew up with film but hadn’t shot anything with it since about 2004. Over the years I went through a few digital point-and-shoots, but most of my photos had increasingly been taken with my smartphone. I had taken some good shots (at least I hoped), but there’s not really a lot of “fun” holding an iPhone 8 to capture an image. Friends of mine were into shooting film, why not give it a try?
I never bought a new camera in my whole life. In my teens I started taking pictures with my father’s old Agfa Silette. Three speeds, manual focusing, no light meter, but setting the exposure based on the pictorial guidelines that are still printed on the inside of lots of film boxes. My next camera, also my father’s, was a huge upgrade: the Pentax Spotmatic F, with a built-in light meter, metering with the diaphragma open and a fast prime lens.
As someone who grew up in the era of the digital camera, I never thought of film photography as anything other than old and inferior. At twenty one years old, the only experience I had with film photography was from using disposable Fuji cameras on family trips to the Oregon Coast and Portland. It wasn’t until I bought my first DSLR in October, a Nikon D3200, that I was slowly exposed to the reality of film through the internet. I began to notice that the photos I was aesthetically drawn to were not, in fact, shot digitally. They were almost all shot on analog cameras.
One of the wonderful things about photography is how broad it is as a pastime. The options are absolutely endless, from capture media, camera type, process to display. In fact, with the revival of film photography, combined with what digital photography and computers have brought to the table, not to mention all the other traditional types of photography, we as photographers are spoiled for choice.