While there’s no question to it, that digital photography has made life much more convenient than film, there’s still a place for film! Who can forget that distinct grainy appearance when enlarging a film image? That’s the film equivalent of pixels…the accompanying image shows that graininess, and also a few scratches! This was scanned from an old negative. People still do use film cameras for a few different reasons –
- As a learning tool – Its very convenient to look at a digital camera’s LCD screen to quickly change your camera settings if the image isn’t what you wanted. But, while shooting film, one had to carefully think about what a difference in shutter speed or aperture would do to the image. This is why KAPA students are sometimes asked to shoot with black tape over their LCDs!
- Black & White – Most of us love old BW photographs. There’s something to them that digital just doesn’t capture, right? Well, here’s what that ‘something’ is…serious photographers who use BW (and some still do), use color filters to give tonal separation to their images! Not to go too deeply into it (that will be another article later), color filters increase or decrease contrast in selected areas of a BW image. For example, if you wanted to darken a clear blue sky, you’d use a filter of complimentary color to blue, which is yellow, If you wanted to darken the leaves on a tree, you’d use a magenta filter, which is the opposite color to green! Can you imagine the endless creative possibilities using color filters on BW? Agreed, these effects can be replicated to some degree on Photoshop.
- You can get film cameras really cheap – And good ones at that! People sell their old film cameras at throwaway prices. You could get a professional model with a killer lens for a fraction of the cost of a digital. That’s not to say that you could do without digital, but film photography is inexpensive to get into. Film is freely available on the internet. The biggest challenge you may face is developing the film, but there are professionals to do it in every major city even today.