POST 016




MARCH 11 2022

Well my goal to post once a week lasted for a long time… I really only got two posts on time and then fell off the weekly schedule hard. Anyway, picking up where I left off, I talked about why film and my film was for the mechanical cameras and analog experience. I wanted to build off that theme and talk about another aspect of film that is really important to me; the irregularity of it.

Minolta x-700 with Minolta MD 50mm f1.7 on Lomo 100

When I first started shooting film I disliked how “unclean” the images were. I hated any dust or scratches in my images, and I tried to manage grain as much as possible (even so far as to using the noise reduction slider in Lightroom). I didn’t like risking the outcome of a photo or scene to the physical characteristics of the film. I've been used to digital photography were when you take a picture that's it and you have the image, but with film there are physical things that have to happen to the undeveleloped image before it becomes a finished image. And I've had my share of images ruined.. or maybe a better word is “altered”... in every stage that comes between clicking the shutter to scanning in the final image… Light leaks, burnt negatives, scratched negatives, stretched negatives to name a few.

Nikon F3 with Nikkor 105mm f2.5 on Portra 400

I spent my first 3 months trying to minimize the artifacts that film would leave behind, removing scratches, minimizing grain cropping out light leaks etc.. but lately I’ve just been leaving them. Partly because I hate spending so much time editing my images but also because I like the completely uniqueness of it all. I have started to accept and appreciate that the irregularities and artifacts of an image are part of that image rather than a distraction to it.

Voigtlander Bessa R3M with Voigtlander 50mm f1.4 on Kodak Ektar 100

Learning to like these features of film is one of the things that has pushed me away from digital. The variations in film are so random and uniqaue and authentic that it feels almost impossible to replicate on any digital image. Even if we ignore the scratches and light leaks and dust spots on an image the grain itself is unique to that image... And although I hated these things at first it is now one of the main reasons that I continue to shoot film.

Nikon FG with Nikkor 50mm f2 on Kodak Tmax 100