A return to film (for street photography)

After shooting primarily on digital for the better part of the past year, I’ve returned to shooting on 35mm film, at least for my street photography.

There’s a handful of reasons why I enjoy shooting on film. For starters, my main 35mm film SLR is a fair amount smaller than my DSLR, and I can carry it using a wrist strap, as opposed to a neck strap for my DSLR. So I can be a bit more inconspicuous, and a bit more agile, taking photographs in public.

And, let’s face it, film is more challenging than digital. You have to do a bit more technical calculations in your head, to get a proper exposure that’s in focus. For that reason, it’s more rewarding for me to nail a street photo on film, compared to nailing it on digital. Plus, the physical aspect of quickly cocking the shutter, and the mirror slap sound when I hit the shutter, is kinda sublime.

Finally, and this may actually be the least important reason why I like film, is the aesthetic quality. You do get colors, hues, and grain on film that are very hard to replicate digitally. Film really does have its own look, and it can be quite beautiful. However, I have a much higher regard for the content and subject matter of a photograph, as opposed to the medium or format it was shot on.

So, I do think I may move back to digital after I get through my current film stock. As much as I love shooting on film, for the sake of my wallet and developing costs, for me I feel more comfortable using it only sporadically, in phases.

But it’s been a blast diving back into it! Below are a few recent street photographs shot on film.

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