I Shoot Film Because It Doesn’t Shoot Back

I was browsing through Flickr and I came across this cool photographer, http://www.rhettredelings.com   In his bio he writes, “I shoot film because it doesn’t shoot back.”   I don’t know if the phrase inspired me or if I’m pleased to see another bald guy with a film camera.  Nonetheless, I wish to expand on Rhetts’ notion.  I will try and avoid quoting from the ” I hate digital handbook.”  I’m a photographer who doesn’t want to know.  I’d rather find out later if what I shoot is worth a damn.  The immediacy of digital is of little interest to me.  It’s like an unwrapped Christmas gift.  Seeing my results right away would influence the process for me, make me adjust my thinking instead of working with instinct and some basic knowledge.  It would almost be like having someone looking over my shoulder with critique or unworthy praise.

Please do not write me and say that I am an old school dork.  I get the obvious merits of digital photography, and the amazing images that are being shot every second around the world speak volumes.  I just prefer to meander about, taking one shot an hour, maybe it takes a week to go through a roll of film.  I’d rather not be confronted with hundreds of sunset photos hoping for one good image.  I usually get at least one winner for every twelve exposures.  I am also a pacifist, and I like the non threatening nature of analog photography.   Ooops, I think I just implied that digital scares me.

How silly is that?

one out of twelve ain't bad

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8 thoughts on “I Shoot Film Because It Doesn’t Shoot Back

  1. I personally love it when you take a picture of someone and they ask if they can see how it turned out.

    “No, this is a film camera, I have to have it developed.”

    Usually, the next thing is a totally awesome blank look of incomprehension.

  2. Leah says:

    “One out of twelve” isn’t bad at all. It’s kinda special, really.

  3. Mr.Godo says:

    When I was young there was a certain thrill in taking your film in for developing. It could take up to 2 weeks and the anticipation would build by the day. But those days are long gone, I shot with digital ever since the first digital camera appeared on the market, that is until a few months ago. I found my treasured old Nikon body again, got some new glass, and I’m now a convert back to film. I’ve been missing so much. Film rules. It might not take 2 weeks to get the film developed any more, but the thrill of picking up your prints and thumbing through them for the first time is still there.

  4. R Johnson says:

    Well I AM an old school dork and I’ve shot enough Rolls (1000s by now) over the years to know as soon as the shutter fires if I got what I want or not. I don’t *have* to look. The Digital part of the Workflow is new to me and I’m still stumbling a lot, but the wet print enlargements still blows peoples socks off, including digiSLR shooters (one look at a 20×24 from MF and they never quite look at their seemingly sharp 8x10s quite the same way again). Advice? Shoot chrome until you know how to expose. Shoot B&W using Zone system and wet print until you know how to control contrast. After that you’ll be technically proficient enough to be able to create anything you like. Digital is another animal that seems rather undefined still (maybe it’s just me, but I find the methods about as varied as the people you talk to or get instruction from), with most people just doing trail and error until they find a workflow path that works for them.

  5. Russ Morris says:

    I like ’em both. Film is what I grew up using, going through a lot of 120 in my Mom’s old BHF and in my late teens I used 35mm in a viewfinder and an SLR, both Yashicas.

    I still shoot film – 120, 35mm, Fuji pack – with a variety of cool cameras, but I also shoot digital. My first digi was a Kodak DC40. I’m using a few different pixel boxes now: An older Pentax *ist D for TtV, a Ricoh GRD II, Leica D-Lux 4, Canon G11, and a Panasonic GF1. They’re all great shooters.

    I don’t there should be any limits on creativity, and the same goes for tools used in the creation process. I’ll keep shooting with any camera I can get my hands on.

  6. three cheers for old school dorks!

  7. one of the things i dislike most about digital photography is the ability to over-edit it through photoshop and whatever other program someone might use. i’m an amateur, but i have just recently bought a film camera that i can’t wait to go out and use. when i had my older daughter smell the film canister, she says, ‘ew’ to which i reply, ‘and you want to be a photographer?’ lol hey, she’s 14, but at least she has the desire to take photos. i love film, and it’s going to force me to learn how to work my camera to the best of my and its abilities. 🙂 p.s. i love old school.

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