Sunday, 23 October 2016

Film Photography

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 A few months ago I was trawling through the cupboard in my house dedicated to photography and I came across a couple of old cameras. They were film cameras, and for some reason I'd forgotten that we'd ever used them. I can remember my mum and dad, and especially my grandparents taking photos with these cameras all the time, and then having the annual 'pass your best photos around the family' session when everyone came to visit. Nowadays everything is so digital- rarely do I print out photos that I've taking, I prefer to share them on social media

No matter how convenient social media is, or how good the camera quality of my phone, however, I don't think anything will quite equal the anticipation of waiting for your film to be developed, Or, when it is developed, no digital camera can quite re-create that slightly hazy, slightly muted effect given by a film camera. It was mainly because of this that I decided to see if I could work one of the old cameras. I chose my mum and dad's 80's Ricoh AF-500, bought some film, and started taking some pictures.

As can be expected from getting a new piece of technology, it took me a while to get used to. For about a month I convinced myself that I'd broken it, but on my dad's further investigation it turned out that I wasn't waiting for the flash to charge enough before taking photos- I didn't even know that was a thing! Lo and behold, the camera did work and I've just had my first couple of rolls developed, and I am in love.

For me, the thing I love so much about film photography is that so much more thought goes into each photo. There isn't the unlimited number of pictures you can take on a phone or digital camera, no auto adjust or brightness settings, and on my camera at least, no zoom. because of this you have to really think about what you're taking a photo of, whether you have enough light, and of course, that you have enough time for the flash to charge. More patience is needed when waiting for the photos to be developed. In a world where everything seems so temporary in terms of the internet, waiting for photos can be a little frustrating. However, nothing beats the feeling you get when you've taken a great picture and it comes out really well on film.

There is also the question of expense. A roll of film costs around £7, as does getting the photos developed, but, this is counteracted by the fact that you probably won't have to buy a camera to get started- chances are a friend or family member will have one hanging around in the back of a cupboard. Getting photos developed can also be a bit of a hassle. I get mine developed at Boots and they're normally done in about 2 days, but I'm pretty sure you can also get them developed at independent photography shops, or even send the film off.

All in all, film photography is an incredibly rewarding hobby, and lets you capture memories in a totally unique way.

E x

Photos mostly taken on my recent trip to Prague.


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