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Old Cameras

Why I only shoot on film,
not digital

The pleasure of shooting analog film is a feeling that cannot be replicated in the digital world. For those who have experienced it, the process of loading film into a camera, setting the ISO, and manually focusing and exposing each shot is a meditative and mindful experience that allows you to truly be present in the moment.

One of the biggest differences between analog and digital photography is the level of intentionality required. With digital photography, it's easy to snap hundreds of photos without really thinking about each one. But with film, each frame is precious and must be carefully considered. This mindfulness can lead to a deeper connection with your subject and a greater appreciation for the art of photography.

 

Shooting on film means spending much more time talking to the model and enjoying being present in the moment while considering the best composition.  A side effect of this is a more organic shoot that often results in a more relaxed model (and photographer) and resulting images that feel more lifelike.

Another aspect of analog photography that adds to its charm is the element of surprise. When you shoot film, you don't get to see your images immediately. You have to wait until you get your film developed to see how your shots turned out. This uncertainty can be exciting, as it adds an element of mystery to the process and allows for the possibility of discovering something special in a photo that you may have overlooked while shooting.

In addition to the mindfulness and surprise that analog photography offers, there is also a certain timelessness to film that digital cannot replicate. Film has a distinct aesthetic that is both warm and organic, which can give your images a classic, timeless look that never goes out of style.

Overall, the pleasure of shooting analog film lies in the process itself. It's a slower and more intentional way of taking photos that allows you to truly be present in the moment and savor the experience of capturing something special on film. Whether you're an experienced photographer or just starting out, shooting film is a rewarding and satisfying hobby that is sure to bring you joy.

I'm always looking to collaborate with new models. If you're interested in posing for a session, contact me today!

How to find the right film stock for your project

CHOOSING THE RIGHT FILM FOR PORTRAITS

There is no one film stock that is universally considered to produce the most beautiful skin tones, as this can be a matter of personal preference and will depend on the specific characteristics of the film and how it is used. However, some film stocks that are often praised for their ability to produce attractive skin tones include:

  • Kodak Portra: This film is known for its natural, warm tones and good color saturation. It is available in ISO speeds of 160, 400, and 800. I love shooting 160 and 400 though have never tried the 800 variant. Probably my favourite film stock.

  • Kodak Gold: This film is one of the most popular budget films ever produced by Kodak, and for good reason. It's warm midtones and pleasant colours are the perfect fit for many portrait sessions, particularly if you are looking to produce a nostalgic, warm feel to your photos. Given its lower price and similarity to Portra, I would highly recommend giving it a shot.

  • Fujifilm Pro 400H: Recently discontinued, this film has a reputation for producing rich, creamy skin tones and accurate colors. It is available in ISO 400.  You can still find plenty of rolls available online. One of my favourites to use in medium format portraits outdoors due to the way it renders a pastel look when overexposed by a stop or two.

  • Ilford Delta: This black and white film is known for its wide dynamic range and smooth, detailed tones. It is available in ISO speeds of 100, 400, and 3200.

Ultimately, the best film stock for capturing beautiful skin tones will depend on the specific needs and preferences of the photographer and the conditions in which they are shooting.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT FILM FOR LANDSCAPE OR ARCHITECTURE

  • Kodak Ektar 100: This film is known for its vibrant, saturated colors and fine grain, making it a popular choice for landscape photography. It is available in ISO 100.

  • Fujichrome Velvia 50: This slide film is known for its punchy, highly saturated colors and excellent color accuracy.

  • Ilford HP5 Plus: This black and white film is known for its wide dynamic range and ability to capture a wide range of tonal values, making it suitable for capturing a range of landscapes in different lighting conditions. It is available in ISO 400.

  • Kodak ProImage 100: This film is known for its excellent color reproduction and fine grain, making it a good choice for landscape photography where fine detail is important. It is available in ISO 100.

  • Lomochrome Metropolis: This film is known for a gritty, grungy look that won't suit all scenarios. I would recommend only using it for architecture work. Comes in a flexible ISO rated 100 to 400. I normally shoot and process mine at 400.

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