Megapixels seem to be all the rage these days.
In fact, I own a couple digital Canon SLRs and honestly, I rarely ever use them. Digital has it's moments when it's extremely useful - particularly with low-light photography, ie: astronomy, and headshots - but I really don't enjoy shooting digital as much as I do shooting film.
What makes film so different?
Here are 5 reasons why I prefer to shoot film.
More Focus On Composition
Instead of playing the game of numbers by shooting as many photos as I can and then going back to my computer to see how many shots looked good, I have to think more about how I can take the perfect shot in somewhere between 1 and 3 frames. This means that I have to put some thought into how the shot will turn out by evaluating lighting conditions, what film stock I have loaded, what aperture I want to shoot with, how far away the subject is and what do I want to have visible in the frame.
Limited Number Of Exposures
Depending on what camera and film I am using I am limited by how many shots each roll of film can take and by how many rolls of film I have on-hand. It would be a waste of my day if I only had enough film to take 40 pictures and I had used most of that up on the first subject of the day! This also means that for however many exposures I have on a roll, every photo that I take will have many of the same characteristics - this is like applying the same filters or presets to every photo on that roll.
Since each roll of film is rated for a single ISO more attention gets placed on aperture and shutter speed to achieve a proper exposure. With only 2 of the 3 sides of The Exposure Triangle to adjust, the quality of my equipment and steadiness of my hand really comes into play, especially with slower films.
Film Has Grain
Grain is texture that adds a level of complexity to the way each shot looks. Films with higher ISOs tend to have more grain than films with lower. Some black and white films have grains of different shapes. Grain tends to be how you know that a photo was taken using film.
Less Post Processing
Aspects such as color profiles and white balance are chosen by the type of film - there's no requirement to "warm up" photos in Lightroom. Once you find films that you like and you get comfortable using them, you'll only be doing very limited amounts of post processing. By the way, if you don't use Lightroom, you're in luck - Old Sad Songs is an affiliate with Adobe and we can help you get started. Check this out!
There's More To Come
I can go on and on about how working with film is different - and I'll save it for future posts. In the meantime, if you also prefer to shoot film, why do you like to shoot film? Let me know in the comments.
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