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Shooting Film: A 30 day Project

The “shooting film” trend is growing. And it made me nostalgic.

For Christmas I asked for a film camera, the Nikon F100 from KEH. I wasn’t exactly sure where I wanted this endeavor to go, but I knew that in my heart I always felt so conflicted. In 2004 I was shooting with a fairly entry level film camera and I really really wanted the F100 and a home dark room kit. But digital photography was growing and when I looked long and hard at the pros and cons I jumped ship and bought the D70. And for the most part, I never really thought about it again.

The reasons I really enjoy shooting film again:

  • the sound of the shutter is magical
  • there is no cheating
  • it’s more expensive, so you slow down and take your time
  • there is a little more challenge to get it right
  • it forces patience to see your handy work

That said. I see a lot of people who feel that just because you’re shooting film it’s “art”. Look, I can use paint and a paintbrush, but I assure you, it is not art. Some things are identical to digital photography, a good photograph is a good photograph, and a poor photograph is a poor photograph. Film does not church that up, though I totally understand how it could feel that way, because in a sense you’re shooting blind, so all your results feel magical. And I will say that when you do get a magical shot, film feels extra magical. But, the film stock doesn’t provide all the magic for you.

I shot a test roll really quickly, and by quickly I mean maybe 10 minutes, drove the 30 minutes to a local lab and dropped it off so I could see if the camera and meter were functioning properly. I do have a handheld meter, but I rarely have enough hands for the children, let alone a camera. We’ll see where this lands as I shoot more and more. Or, as I enter an insane asylum after too many children.

I got the test roll back and the go ahead to start shooting film. But, as I shot throughout January, I wondered what the difference was between this and my daily shooting. Fun, sure. But more fun that normal? So the idea of a 365 ended right there. Instead, I kept it to “30 days of shooting film”. January has 31 days, but doesn’t 30 sound better? 31 days of film? I don’t know, but it bothers me.

Instead, I will reserve shooting film for individual projects or shoots. And hopefully my brainstorm list grows because I have approximately 45 rolls of film chilling in my fridge! ha!

Here are some of my favorites from January, yes January. Because getting to the post office is not my strong suit, lol! Also, this is four different film stocks while I try and figure out what I like.


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  • May 13, 2016 - 7:21 am

    Eileen - I am so excited to see this! I also started shooting film in January and I am really enjoying it. I love how it forces me to slow down. Great post and beautiful images!ReplyCancel

  • May 14, 2016 - 1:56 am

    Wendy - Film must definitely slow you down and think more before clicking the shutter, which is a good thing as makes photographers more intentional. Think I definitely need film in this respect!!! But seriously, it must be exciting waiting for your photographs to return from the lab. Your images both digital and film are a treat to browse. This post is beautiful.ReplyCancel

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