December 15th, 2021

By Kam Vachon

 

Today, digital cameras dominate the market. Canon, Sony, Fujifilm, Olympus... all introduce new models with innovative technologies every year. But what about the old film cameras? In my opinion, it is very interesting for any photographer to incorporate this medium to his arsenal and here is why!

A slow process that works in your favor 

A film for a 35mm camera usually has 24 or 36 exposures. Therefore, before taking a picture, one question must be asked: is the picture really worth it? 

Unlike digital cameras with which you can take 100 pictures of the same subject, the film camera forces you to ask yourself questions and evaluate the importance of a picture. This decision process pushes you to give the best of yourself in order to get the best picture possible.

I recently returned from a trip/assignment to Mexico. All my personal photos were taken on my film camera, for a total of 5 rolls of film. That's about 180 photos taken in a thoughtful way. If I had decided to take my pictures digitally, I would have had about 2500 pictures. There is a big difference here. I am confident that the 180 photos on film will be to my liking, because I really took the time to choose my subjects.

Shooting on film makes me slow down and think about the importance of each of my photos.



Yashica FX3 2000 Super, 50mm, Kodak Portra 400


This photo is a good example of the process of taking a silver photo for me. There is a connection between the color blue: the man's jacket, the sign with the name of the street next to him and the wall. These little details are the kind of things I observe more when I take a photo on film. I slow down and look at the elements around me with a closer eye. This may be a picture I wouldn't have taken if I had only my digital camera with me.


Yashica FX3 2000 Super, 50mm, Kodak Portra 400


I took this picture in Mascota, a small traditional Mexican village. I paid special attention to the color scheme between the car and the wall. Again, colors play an important role in my approach to film photography. All this is also possible with a digital camera, but for me, it is easier to notice these details when I take the time to observe the surroundings, which is more conducive when I walk around with my Yashica FX3 2000 Super.



Yashica FX3 2000 Super, 50mm, Kodak Portra 400


This photo is one of my favorites from my trip to Mexico. It was taken in Mexico City, near the historic center. This man was reading his newspaper near a church and I knew I had to take a picture of him. I quietly positioned myself and made sure I liked my composition. Then I waited for the man to look at me before taking the picture. I am very happy with the result.



Yashica FX3 2000 Super, 50mm, Kodak Portra 400

 

This photo illustrates well the atmosphere that film photography brings. The colors and texture are very nostalgic. On top of all that, the element in the photo is an old Beetle. All the elements in this photo accentuate what film photography means to me. 

In short, if you haven't already done so, I strongly urge you to try film photography. It's an unparalleled feeling and full of nostalgia. Your pictures will probably be different from what you are used to, but that's the beauty of it: experiment!




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