„You take photographs on film again?“…I am often asked..

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…and then I ask myself while answering with „yes“ why I am doing this.

And obviously I am not alone in this. On every round through the city I meet people who have taken their old camera out of the closet and most of them look happy with it. The reasons may be different, I can only speak for myself in this article.

Objectively speaking, this actually makes little sense in this day and age. If you assume that only the result, i.e. the finished image, should play a role in the decision for a tool, there is probably no result which could not be achieved with a digital camera. So there must be something on the way to the picture that leads me to my decision for old cameras.

I think it was this reduction to the bare essentials that I liked so much. Just a lightproof box, aperture and time…and done. And it’s easy, you just relied on things like a light meter or an autofocus for the last few years until you couldn’t believe that you could do without it. But of course it works! No more fiddling around with camera menus, no more problems with synchronizing anything to anything else, no more checking the pictures on the screen, no more ugly chargers lying around…just look up in the sky and take pictures. I found that kind of liberating.

Of course, as an amateur I can easily say that, I am fully aware that there are situations and requirements in a commercial environment where technical helpers are very useful to make money. But digital technology can’t fascinate me…it never did, the cameras are computers with an attached lens. The components will eventually fail due to age and then such a camera is usually consecrated to the garbage can. That’s ok (actually not, but that’s another issue), I personally enjoy taking my pictures with a device my uncle used to take pictures of my mother when she was 10 years old. And surprisingly, these pictures on 24x30cm paper are not worse in quality and effect than those of a modern camera…if you did it right!

And this is the next point for me. I took the picture, not the computer. And yes, for the viewer of the picture it does not matter. For me personally, I created a small work of art and that’s what I enjoy about photography. And also to screw up sometimes. And also not taking photos sometimes, because you have no possibility to „fix“ them later in Lightroom. To find other solutions on site, other motives, other light which might lead to a more useful result.
I’ll close with this and have obviously just found a short answer to the initial question! ­čÖé Although there would be so much more to consider….

Thanks for reading, Frank

 

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