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Opinion: Exercises in film

update1-000011update1-000010update1-000006One particular demon I’ve been trying to slay is getting to a point where I’m comfortable taking nothing but a film camera with a single lens on outings, especially focused on documenting a slice of life or exploring some street photography. Early on it was drilled in to me to bring everything but the kitchen sink in the hopes of never missing an opportunity or shot. I suppose in a lot of scenarios that’s thorough planning and thinking but it over time I’ve found I prefer the challenges that gear simplicity can bring. ¬†As such recently I’ve had outings with nothing but an FE-2, some rolls of monochrome film and a trusted 50mm lens, not exactly the sleekest of gear but it’s a combination that has slowed me down greatly, in a positive capacity, and allowed me to focus my scope on finer details. Beyond that the added cost that shooting and developing film brings to the experience really makes you pay attention to what you shoot and how you see it.

Digital cameras are fantastic and they are certainly still the bread and butter of a functional work setup but the more time goes on the more I’m straying from them, even if currently shooting film has greatly exposed my weaknesses and flaws as a photographer.

If you shoot, in any capacity I strongly encourage going out and grabbing something cheap and accessible and using it for the hobby side of your photography. I think you can find a lot to learn and a lot of magic still left over in such a camera.

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