It’s not just a hashtag: there is a renaissance of film photography happening. For proof, see the recent announcement by Kodak that it is bringing back Ektachrome slide film later this year. I am glad to see that Ilford still carries the black & white torch high.
I have been taking photographs as far back as I can remember. From a Polaroid Super Shooter to a Kodak 110 to finally a Nikon, photography has always been a part of my life in one way or another.
Sure digital is nice. In the age of instant gratification, it’s convenient to see your captured image immediately. I certainly won’t stop using my phone camera, which takes pretty good shots now that I know how to use it. But there’s something to be said for taking time; camera on tripod, take a reading of the light, set your exposure, and *then* click. To develop your own film is easy with black and white; anyone can do it, and it makes your images even more personal. And to slide that paper into the tray and watch your image appear under the safelight…that, my friends, is alchemy.
After about 15 years, I am beginning to shoot film again. I’m finding that little has changed, other than a couple of new developers and that my beloved Agfapan 25 is no more: time to look for a new slow film. And of course Kodachrome is gone, the only colour film I used (and I still have a single 110 Kodachrome slide I took to prove it). Nothing will ever come close to Kodachrome.
I also see that fairly good analog equipment is dirt cheap: I have a feeling that will change with the mirrorless brigade discovering the beautiful and inimitable imperfections of vintage lenses. There are thousands of old screw-mount lenses out there to be had, some for little more than a song.
The darkroom is going up again. The cameras are dusted off and prepped, loaded with film, ready to explore the infinite. It’s like seeing a good friend after many years apart. This old dear here has a belly full of Tri-X, ready to go snag some time.
More to come, I promise.