Over the last few months, I have been drawn to the art of film photography, and I am not quite sure how it began. Back in the late 90s I owned a point and shoot 35mm film camera, but back then it only served a utilitarian purpose. I used it capture images of the moment, and in so doing, the pictures and the memories they contained were my ultimate objective. The medium itself did not evoke any emotional attachment, I guess because that is all I had to work with.
Then came the revolution of digital imaging technology and I, like most people became caught up in it. Digital cameras provided the instant gratification I craved, the enchantment of capturing the moment and seeing it displayed and stored digitally. This served a very enticing cocktail of instant gratification that was quite satisfying. Along the way, I became a father and enjoyed the pleasures of snapping every little moment in my children’s development.
But something changed. I started getting overwhelmed with the huge stack of digital imagery I had racked up over the last few years. Managing these files spread over many hard drive, folders and devices became a huge task and quite burdensome. I constantly lived in dread of losing my family’s memories in the event of a computer or a hard-drive failure. This, coupled with the fact that only a small percentage of the photos I had snapped over the years ever made into a physical album made me start rethinking my love of digital media. The irony was obvious; I had more photos printed in my few short years with my last film camera than I had printed from my digital collection, although I had taken thousands more photos with my digital cameras.
A few months ago, I started researching film camera from point and shoots to range finders to SLRs. There was a particular video on YouTube that really spoke to my dilemma and motivated me to embark on this journey of discovering the beauty of film photography.
Fast forward 2 months later and I have learned more about the principles of photography shooting film than I ever learned from my years of taking photos with a digital camera. I am fascinated with the history and the technology of photography and videography and I do enjoy learning about the different vintage cameras in my collection and discovering ways to optimize them to achieve the best images.
I have learned to slow down, be more aware of every photo opportunity and to be more deliberate about shutter speed, ISOs, aperture and image composition. I have developed a love for the manual setting of my cameras and overall I have gained so much love for taking photos.
The best part is, I have learned to develop film on my own discovered the novelty of this art of photography. I enjoy shooting with my digital cameras even more now than ever before, because I understand photography a whole lot better.
Here is a sample of my film shots. More photos available at https://www.instagram.com/benjamin.sey/