Photographing Film

I got the scans from a few rolls of film back today. It's always an emotional roller coaster for me when those photos come through.

First, there is the elation of getting that email in my inbox to say 'they're ready'. I've waited a minimum of 2 weeks, and in some cases a couple of months, to see if what I've photographed worked. I can hardly wait to see them, so much so that whatever I'm doing at the time becomes impossible to focus on. 

Second, there is the disappointment of seeing the ones that didn't quite work. The ones just slightly out of focus, slightly too dark or not quite the right moment. Every click that doesn't work costs me money and it is this component that pushes me to be better. I expect to be able to produce the same quantity of decent images in a roll of 36 that I might normally expect amongst 80 digital shots.

And finally, seeing the ones that worked in beautiful film makes it all worthwhile.  When I take a digital photo I (usually) think 'if only it were in film the whites would be so much nicer, the skin tones so much more natural, the colours more interesting'. So when I get that good shot and it's in film I do a little 'Yippee!!' inside. That's the high moment on my roller coaster.

Excellent fashion and portrait photographer, Norman Jean Roy, gave a great interview which spoke volumes to me in nymag.com . I wanted to share what he said on film photography, 

"When you shoot film, you don't have the luxury of seeing every single image coming out. And because of that, you stay very focused. Everything [becomes] hyper real  so when you get it, you get it another time, and another time after that just to make sure you got it. As a result, you have a much better version of, I think, the moment. That's much more real, honest, and broken, too." By 'broken' he means the imperfection that comes with film that is too easy to manipulate out in digital. But I will save that carry on for another day. In the meantime, this is my homage to Film Photography Day on April 12th, 2013 and for those moments when it comes out right.