Oh how I love film, especially expired film! I love the raw feeling it gives you, the imperfections make it perfect. I have used several of the software applications that are supposed to give you the feel of certain types of film and I just find them to be lacking. They just do not copy the original effects you can get with film enough. Maybe its just my style, but I love it.
I do love the instant gratification with digital, I am not going to lie! But finding even just one great shot from a roll of film can make my day. There is something about the unknown, I mean, you know you shot it right….. right? It allows you to second guess yourself, it lets you compose the shot properly to begin with because, well, it’s film. You can’t just look at the back of the camera and know you can crop in on that or take that branch out of the shot in post production. It slows you down, in a good way. It makes you think and it makes you create the shot. It puts you in control.
I have always been a firm believer that a photographer should be in control on set. It doesn’t matter if it is just the photographer and the subject or if it is a crew of hundreds. The photographer is in charge, even when there is a creative director there, the photographer is the captain of the ship, top head on the totem pole… you get the idea. But if just tell people to do what they do without any real direction are you then just taking photos that really anyone could take? Take control of your own vision, and even if you don’t have a vision, make one up on the spot! At least get one frame that was 100% your own idea.
So this is what film does for me. It reminds me to be creative, to give direction and to then let my subject interpret my direction. If they are not doing what I want them to do, I talk to them more until we understand each other better. The next time you hold a digital camera in your hand, pretend it is film and you are on your last shot of the roll. How would you then compose this shot? Just see if it changes your thinking or any way how you would shoot. I think you will be shocked how it makes you think. 😉