It has been over 10 years (let's not discuss how old I am) since I have pressed the shutter on my film camera. But film photography is where I started. With my grandfather's camera in high school, and my Nikon N65 in college, I spent a lot of time in the darkroom. And I miss it. And I miss the look of film.
I've recently started using Mastin Labs presets for my photo editing in Photoshop Lightroom. They replicate the look of film for digital photography. And I am loving them. But I thought, if I love the look of film so much, maybe I should just start shooting film again.
So, I pulled out my Nikon N65, and literally dusted it off. I bought some Portra 400 film at Asheville's local camera store, Ball Photo. If you love photography and live in Asheville, you should go there. There are two gentlemen there who always seem a bit curmudgeony at first, but are so knowledgeable and will open up if you start talking photography. With their large selection of used equipment, Ball Photo has been feeding my love/obsession for ridiculously cheap manual lenses to experiment with for years. And now they are feeding my love for film photography.
My camera, understandably, had a few weird moments after I pulled it out of retirement. This photographer did too. I tried to look at the back of the camera after almost every shot. Ugh. I am hoping shooting more film will help me get rid of this bad habit. By the end of the roll, the camera and I were working flawlessly! I took my film back to Ball Photo. This time, I had prints made just for the nostalgia of it, but I will probably mostly get my film scanned in the future. These were all just test shot photos playing around in my West Asheville house and yard, so none of them are terribly exciting. Plus, these are cell phone photos of prints (don't judge me, I was in a hurry!).
But the point here is that I loved shooting film, I love how it makes me think differently while shooting, and I love the way film handles light and color differently than digital photography. I am going to start shooting a roll of film along with my normal digital photos for every photo shoot. Who knows? Maybe I will go completely old school and switch entirely back to film.
My next step in film photography is to dust off my medium format Holga camera and get extra artsy. Stay tuned for crazy light leaks and double exposures!