On the streets with some 35mm


You may have noticed that I just bought myself a Canon Elan 7E so I can shoot more film.  In conjunction, I've been doing a lot of reading into film photography, looking for a way to give my work an interesting and analogue twist.  I think this may come from playing my guitars through tube amplifiers, but I really enjoy working with a medium that relies on more than 1 and 0.

So far my experience with film has been good: I'm choosing my photos more carefully, making each frame count.  It's made me a better editor in a sense, because I've actually had moments of looking through the viewfinder and thinking "No, I don't like this, I'll find something else to shoot".  Having only used digital, I never experienced a train of thought anything like this.

I waited until this woman was just inside the second window frame on purpose.  With digital I would have snapped furiously, hoping to get the moment at 4 fps. (Fuji Superia 400)
I'm loving the results. However, I'm also catching myself thinking that something would look good because it's on film.  I do have some very boring photos that I snapped because I'd thought they would be good on film, not necessarily because I liked what I saw.  I still need to detach myself from the equipment and just go take pictures I like. 

I also love the way colours are rendered.  There's a very nice smoothness to the photos when they're processed. (Fuji Superia 400)

I've been following Eric Kim's website/blog/tutorials and have found it incredibly resourceful, and inspiring.  I'm still nowhere near being able to walk up to someone and take a photo without asking, but in time I'll develop confidence and I'll get better at shooting street stuff.  

While shooting film, I actually get a sense of being less creepy while I'm shooting on the street.  If I point my camera at someone while shooting film, I know that if they approach me I actually can't delete the photograph (not that I would anyway) and can't show it to anyone.  It's almost like I've got a license to create art with film, and that's okay, more so than digital.  It's a perception, not a reality, and frankly with a point and shoot I'd probably feel the same way.

Sometimes it's nice to have someone pose for you.  Once again, Jess, my wife, poses while I make use of some background Christmas lights. (Ilford XP2 Super 400)

Maybe that's it with film: I feel more artistic.  I feel like each shot I take will matter. I don't think it's "hipster"; a lot of people shoot film today.  It's coming back.  Kodak is still making film, though they're downsizing.  Ilford has launched a line of disposable black and white cameras.

(Ilford XP2 Super 400)
 Here's what I don't want: I don't want you to go away with a message that film is better.  It's not.  It's just different.  If you prefer digital, you're not wrong.  The truth is, for convenience, I prefer digital.  For expression and a look that is more analogue, I prefer film.  That's really it.


The textures and details are just awesome.  I shot the same photo with my 5DII and with some processing I could probably match this image.  Thing is, I need to know what it looks like in the first place! (Ilford XP2 Super 400)

mmmm.....beer... (Ilford XP2 Super 400)

Thanks for reading, and until next time, Cheers!