This and last year, I picked up a few new hobbies. The art of learning things proves to be one of the most intriguing arts I ever pursue.
Film is Not Dead
I briefly learned to shoot photos in elementary school on an old SLR camera. My dad had an old Olympus SLR I thought I would one day inherit, but I never shot on it. In high school, I became the Yearbook editor during my Junior year, and I carried my dad’s Olympus point and shoot everywhere I went. During the final quarters of my senior year, a hobbyist friend lent me his Nikon F60 for a few months, and we went on a few photo trips around San Diego. I was hooked. But unfortunately, around that time, I was a broke student and couldn’t afford to buy my own camera. So I set aside my attraction for awhile.
In college, instead of running behind the camera, several of my photographer and arts major friends asked me to be their regular model for some of their photo projects. I enjoyed being in front of the camera, and allowing my friends to capture my weirdness on film. I branched out into video at that time, studying Digital Media Arts (what we know as New Media – Digital Cinematography), and forgot how much I loved being behind a lens of a photo camera. (At the time, digital photography was a barely emerging technology.)
16 years later, my husband set aside his many digital cameras in favor of a more analog existence. I inherited much of his equipment, and I’ve been slowly trying to improve my practice there. But the creamy look and tactile sense of film photography lures me with its siren call. There’s something so much more substantial with film. Not only does it capture a completely different feeling and ambience in every exposure, the “you get one shot here” kind of existence for every frame calls you to be very exacting, very strategic and judicious with each shot.
That tangible, touchable final result in film photography… there’s just something indescribably magical in each photo. With digital, I can spend 2 hours and shoot 500 photos just to get 10 usable ones and feel unrepentant about the number of frames I shoot. But with film, each of your 36 exposures requires thoughtfulness. Each shot is precious, and every shutter click is done as an act of love and trust.
Film is not dead. There’s a reason why it’s been picking up as a movement.
I’ll never be a pro, but there is a definite infatuation brewing here, and it may turn into a lifelong affair.
What hobbies have you been cultivating for yourself this year? Do share!
Rock on, Lovecats!