Monday, April 22, 2013

Why Film?

I often get asked, why... why are you still shooting film in a digital era? Technology is advancing so fast and with all the digital cameras hitting the market so frequently, I know it may seem a little ironic that film would still exist and be a choice of medium for photographers in this day and age. The truth is, I love film, and I can't shoot enough of it. I have shot film my whole life. Film is truly at the heart of my photography and there are numerous reasons as to why I shoot film, but today I want to briefly discuss a few of them.

The Look.

Film has a distinct look and feel. There is a specific colour palette and softness I am looking for when I create my images. My film choice and how I expose the film, paired with selected lighting conditions and shooting locations are the main elements that determine how my final image is going to feel. By having as much control as possible over these factors, I am able to create a very particular look with film that reflects my style as an artist. My all-time favourite film to shoot is Fuji Pro 400h. I use this film stock 90% of the time. It has a soft pastel aesthetic, and when used in selected lighting conditions the light wraps around my subjects giving them a gorgeous soft, dreamy glow. 

The Quality.

There is a latitude and detail retention in the highlights and shadows that is unparalleled in digital. Film is able to capture details in both the highlights, e.g.  the sky and clouds on a bright sunny day, as well as details in the shadows which would otherwise be lost information. By capturing more information in both the highlights and the shadows, film is able to capture a huge range of tones and colours with an even gradation from darks to lights. 

Film challenges me to become a better photographer.

There is no chimping (looking at the back of the camera) when you shoot film. You have to know your exposures, and know how the image is going to look even before you shoot the frame. I really feel this has pushed me personally to become a better photographer both technically and creatively. Each time I load a roll of film, I have 16 precious frames to create something artistic and beautiful. It truly encourages me to slow down, creatively compose the image and wait for the perfect moment before taking the shot. 

Here are a few images all taken with Fuji Pro 400h. 

Until next time! 
- Lani Elias

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