I’d previously written off film photography as a redundant art form. And to a certain extent, it is. However there remains a certain elegance and pleasure to resetting the film, manually adjusting the focus, and listening for the oh-so-distinctive ‘CLICK’ as the shutter clatters shut.
I met my friend at London Waterloo around midday yesterday. After some deep fried halloumi chips from Camden food market for lunch (again), the day was spent wondering the streets of England’s wonderful capital. He’d recently purchased a £30 film camera along with a couple of lenses from eBay. The whole setup felt remarkably robust yet unnecessarily complicated for such a cheap camera. Turns out that a lot of the settings are predetermined by the film you use, so there’s actually only aperture and focus to worry about.
For the few that are unaware of what a camera’s aperture is, it’s basically a measure of how forgiving the focus is. So if the aperture is large, pretty much everything will be in focus. If the aperture is small, only the specific distance the camera is focused on will be in focus; the rest will be nicely blurred. So obviously the effects of aperture become apparent when you have, for example, your subject pretty close to the camera and the background really far away.
Having an iPhone as the go-to camera meant that playing around with all the manual settings was quite a treat for me. However the most irritating part is that you can’t tell how the photo turned out until you have the photos developed. So whist I reckon I got some bangers, I’m having to wait until tomorrow before getting a hold of the digital copies. Makes the learning process much slower and reminds me why my iPhone is so special.
Day ended with a sunset mission to Primrose Hill (check my Instagram). Very crowded thanks to the wonderfully warm weather. Surprisingly, London was lacking in cloud cover so the sunset was a little lacking. However we did meet some GB runners, tried to take a couple of artsy photos, and then crawled back to the sweaty hell that is the London Underground.
So it turns out that I do like film cameras a lot. But despite the low price of both camera and lenses, the lower image quality and recurring cost of film and publishing remains off-putting. Think I’ll be sticking to digital.