Coming back to film

I love film. Yes, it has a look that you can't get with digital. But the process of shooting film is also a beautiful thing. It connects you more intimately with the camera and your pictures, forcing you to think more about each shot, before you hit the shutter. And because each shot is precious, it makes you much more careful as a photographer.

There are so many reasons I can expound upon why film is better than digital. But I'm not going to do that here, right now. I probably wouldn't be saying anything that hasn't been said before.

No, this post is going to be a bit more specific to me. So far there have been two periods in my life when I've shot on film. And it seems now I'm entering into a third period that could take me anywhere.

When I was in college I made a short film on black & white 16mm, for a filmmaking course. It was an awesome experience and taught me a lot around the technical fundamentals of photography.

The film, called A Joint Effort, was set in a dystopian future reality, where much of humankind has been wiped out by ... ambiguous forces. 

Nearly all of the film I shot in an abandoned ship yard in my hometown in Norwalk, Connecticut. I remember one afternoon shooting b-roll of the empty warehouses and buildings with the spring-wound Bolex 16mm camera, figuring out the shutter speed and aperture with my light meter, and loving it. 

The final finished movie is not exactly amazing, but the experience of shooting and directing it, with my friends and sister, is one I will always cherish.  

Then a few years ago, I got back into film, purely as a photographer. I bought a Pentax K1000 35mm camera at a local photography festival, and shot a few rolls around SF. I also used the camera for a couple portrait projects. A couple of the photos appearing in the portrait section of this site were shot on film with that camera. (Can you guess which ones?)

Then I put shooting on film on hiatus for a bit. I'm not really sure why. I still loved that Pentax K1000, and when I moved into my new apartment, I put the camera in a prominent place on my mantel. 

Now, since launching this site, I've come back to film. The other week, I bought another Pentax K1000, but one that puts that earlier Pentax to shame. It's got a beautiful brown leather casing, it's in better condition, and has a faster, sharper lens that excels in low-light conditions.

I've only been using it a couple days now, and it's been an absolute joy to shoot with. Beyond its looks, what I probably like most about it is its shutter sound. It's got a nice crisp clap that, well, you simply don't hear much on the streets anymore these days. :)

I'm very much looking forward to getting these pictures developed, and taking many more with it!