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The Resurgence of Film Photography: A Timeless Art in the Digital Age

Feature Image by Sammie Quaver Media

The Christmas before last, I received my treasured and revered Pentax K1000 film camera. Along with a small kit of lenses and equipment for it, in a beautiful leather bag with a green felt interior, I was over the moon. I was beyond excited to try out film photography, after seeing such beautiful images all over the internet, taken on film of all kinds. Earlier this year, I wrote a blog post, highlighting photography trends and ideas that I was keen to try this year. Here is what I wrote about film photography:

“Film has been gaining momentum over the last few years, and is expected to continue to gain popularity, despite its increasing expense. The film resurgence has become popular most notably to a young audience, with single-use cameras offering an accessible way to capture the spice of life as a teen/20-something. In an increasingly digital world, it drew many photographers to the tactile and organic nature of film. The unique look and feel of film images, with their grain, texture and depth, are qualities that are difficult to replicate with digital cameras. There’s an air of authenticity and rarity in film that I think today’s young people are particularly drawn to compared to the over-saturated, over-edited, ever-available and overwhelming digital landscape. I was given a Pentax1000 last year as a Christmas gift, and I’ve found through personal experience that film photography forces photographers to slow down and consider each shot more carefully, leading to more thoughtfully composed images. Because of this rise in popularity, it’s been more difficult to source film, and the film that is available is going up in price. However, this might push film photographers to shoot even more purposefully in 2023.”

Me, in January

Revisiting the quirks of shooting film and why it’s become a trend for our generation. So, without further ado, here are 5 reasons film has made such a comeback!

Authenticity:

In a world filled with filters and instant edits, film photography brings back the authentic charm of the craft. The satisfaction of loading film, setting up the shot and waiting for prints. It’s like rediscovering the heart and soul of photography, like our many forefathers. Film photography stands out in a digitally dominated era. There’s something captivating about the genuine and unfiltered nature of film images. Technology offers plenty of options, but some long for the fundamentals of photography. Film photography captures the world as it is, without enhancement. Film photography reminds us of the beauty of imperfection. Loading film, composing shots, and waiting for the prints allows us to become more involved in the art form. Film photography provides a genuine experience and a profound connection with the world.

Nostalgia Meets Fresh Perspective:

Nostalgia is a powerful feeling, and film taps right into that sweet spot. Whether or not you grew up with film cameras, there’s a certain charm that captivates photographers of all ages. It’s like taking a cool journey back in time, but with a fresh and modern twist that adds excitement to the mix. Film photography brings back nostalgic memories for seasoned photographers and evokes a fondness for new enthusiasts. It’s like stumbling upon an old box of family photographs and feeling an immediate connection to the memories they hold. Film encourages us to slow down and appreciate the process. For those who grew up with film cameras, there’s a comforting familiarity in the tactile experience, triggering memories of simpler times when every shot was carefully considered before pressing the shutter. Film photography sparks curiosity and appreciation among the younger generation. Nostalgic film photography adds a unique perspective, creating a bridge between generations.

Timeless Beauty in Every Frame:

The beauty of film lies in its ability to create timeless masterpieces. Each film type has its own unique character – from vibrant colors to captivating black and whites. The rich textures and subtle grain add a touch of artistry that digital can’t quite match. With film, every frame becomes one-of-a-kind. Of course, the rising price and lessening availability of film places a bit of a glass ceiling on the craft. For young people, who are excitable about the prospect of shooting film, it’s pricey to get into. However, new film labs and stores open every day, and disposable film cameras are everywhere for those who wish to take part for cheaper.

Slowing Down for Creativity:

In the age of “snap and go,” film photography forces us to slow down and be intentional. With a limited number of shots per roll, we become more thoughtful and deliberate in our compositions. During film photography, we carefully craft each shot, making the process as fulfilling as the result. Film photography encourages us to slow down and appreciate intentionality amidst the norm of instant gratification. Unlike the rapid-fire “snap and go” approach of digital photography, shooting with film demands a more thoughtful and deliberate process. Each roll comes with a limited number of exposures, making every shot count and urging us to approach each frame with care and consideration. This inherent limitation may seem daunting at first, but it soon becomes a catalyst for unlocking a whole new level of creativity. The constrained number of shots forces us to pause, survey our surroundings, and truly connect with the subject or scene we wish to capture. We become attuned to the play of light, the interplay of colors, and the subtle nuances that might have otherwise gone unnoticed in the frenzy of digital shooting.

The Best of Both Worlds:

One of the coolest things about the film revival is that we get to enjoy the best of both worlds. Whether you’re dusting off a classic camera or trying out a new one with modern features, film photography offers a wide range of options to suit every photographer’s style. The film revival has also given birth to a new generation of film cameras designed with modern features and innovative technology. These new additions to the film family combine the best aspects of analog photography with modern conveniences, enticing digital photographers to delve into the realm of film. With advancements such as auto exposure, built-in light meters, and even hybrid options that allow for both film and digital capture, these cameras make the transition to film an inviting and seamless experience.

Conclusion:


In conclusion, the resurgence of film photography in 2023 is a powerful testament to the enduring allure of authenticity, nostalgia, and timeless beauty. As we navigate the fast-paced and ever-evolving digital landscape, film photography stands as a captivating reminder of the genuine and unfiltered nature of art. The process of shooting film encourages us to slow down, connect with our subjects on a deeper level, and savor the creative journey with every carefully composed shot. Embracing the best of both worlds, film offers a rich tapestry of options, from vintage classics to modern innovations, catering to every photographer’s style and preference. As we explore the many charms and quirks of shooting film, we rediscover the magic that lies in imperfection, in capturing fleeting moments with a soulful and timeless quality. So, whether you’re a seasoned film enthusiast or a curious newcomer, step into the world of film photography and immerse yourself in the artistry, authenticity, and nostalgia that have captured the hearts of photographers for generations. Happy shooting!

“That’s all,

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