What Film Photography taught me....!

hey all,

© Lanak
Usually I'm pretty active on here, but have been busy with college, work and life in general! Anyways, I have a film module that is due in next week in college, so i had to dust off my film camera and get shooting... and WOW was i surprised!!

I have always shot in digital. I only bought a film camera very cheaply on ebay in September, as it was a requirement for my photography course.

Our film module is solely black and white, so i used C41 and Fp4 film. My first film i loaded into the camera incorrectly, and the film was completely blank.... which was a bit disappointing!

I have learnt so much through the process of shooting on film. We had a few themes to choose from for our project, which definitely helped, because it gave me direction. I chose landscape and cityscape. Also we have to have a few shots showing different things, slow shutter, DOF, angle of view etc... All our images have to be developed in the dark room to at least 10x8.

I spent the weekend in London a few weeks ago. My husband was at a conference, so I had the weekend to spend by myself with my camera.... a luxury for me these days!! I set off each day with my camera and notebook to note the images, settings etc as this all has to be included in my workbook for college.

I shot about 40 images that weekend on film. I know that if i was shooting on digital, i would have definitely shot well over that! I found that shooting on film made me totally slow down. I had to take my time, think about the photo, the composition, the camera settings, lighting, how it would look in black and white etc... and after I had taken each photo, I had to take out my notebook and write down the exact settings and number of the image.

Next is taking the film into the dark room.. this is what i have fallen in love with! It is really amazing watching the image come up in the developer... then looking at what areas i want to change / allow more light onto / burn, hold back etc...

Anyways, just want to let you all know, that if you get a change to shoot on film, TAKE IT!! It slowed me down and made me think before i pressed the shutter! it has definitely given me a new appreciation of digital photography and awe at those who shoot on film.

Digital is so quick. I guess it is a sign of our quick society, we want things and we want them now! That does not happen with film, and it has all been quite refreshing for me!!

Anyways, have a great week everyone and SLOW DOWN! Take a breath, enjoy your life!

Cheers, Rebecca xx

Photo credits: Craig Wactor, Lanak, Rebeccaosborn, Stefano Maccari.

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Hi Rebecca. Thanks for your kind comments :) I have been browsing your photo collection and I'm in awe of your talent......Cheers.....Chris


Coming from old school (film photography) I have not really speed anything up. I still take my time to create and capture my images on CF cards. I do like peace of mind, knowing I can capture the images without running out of film. Also, coming out of the darkroom, I love being able to work on my images at my desktop computer or laptop (anywhere editing). I don't miss the harsh chemicals I used to develop my film and prints with. And I do a much better job working on the smaller details in Photoshop than I could in the darkroom (burning up print after print to get the LOOK). Been there done that, but I like to stay where I'm AT ... in the lightroom.


Your articles are so nice to read. Simple and informative. Thanks for sharing.
Now I'm thinking to take out my old film camera which I haven't used last 18 months.


Hi, Rebecca! What a splendid blog! Nice to read about your experience! I wish you also a great week and enjoy your study and experiments!


Really nice piece Rebecca! Now you know why us old poots still shoot film from time-to-time - if you want another joy - get one of your film images accepted here :-)


Film photography is one field that one should experience. It is the priceless joy that one inhales and nourishes the soul :)


Though I've never developed, I have shot mostly on film until only very recently. As I mentioned in my blog, I recently switched to digital. And I'm loving it, but I still love film, too. The slowing down is one of the biggest things that helped me before. Making each shot count. My good to bad shot ratio was much better with film, it seems. I am improving, but I am taking way more bad shots than I did before simply to experiment. I sure wish I'd taken the chance to develop.


Great article!
I love film photography.
I think film photography is a kind of enjoyment.


Well first of welcome back, reading your blog after a long time. Second, good article, and all bold letters make it much easier to read.

Well coming to he point of your blog, I never had chance to shoot with Film SLR, only point and shoot and never ever entered a dark room to see the development process. I can imagine from your blog how interesting it can be. Lucky you, its good to get experience in every form of photography.
But digital is digital total freedom. all in all nice blog


Very interesting!! The only film photography I ever did was with an inexpensive point and shoot camera, and I developed it at the grocery store, so I never did any developing myself.


Nice article and food for thought for us all. I have fairly recently converted to digital as I had to get to the point where I believed that the quality was as good as the best slide/print films out there (this is still debatable unless you have the top pro cameras), but with this conversion, I have to say I think my images suffered because of exactly what you describe, not slowing down and less limitations than I would have with print film, if I did not like an image, I would simply delete it, no worries. So coming to my point, I do think there are ways to slow down and think more about one's photo's with digital, what I did yesterday was take an old 512Mb SD card out with me to take some photos, what this did was allow me only 25 images to shoot (RAW and JPEG High), this helped me to slow down purely because I was limited to such few images, these will hopefully be online soon :0)

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