Why We Won't Let Go of Film

Why We Won't Let Go of Film

Joelle Alcaidinho
Sep 26, 2011

While out around town the other day we were asked about our camera. The unusual thing about this query was that the person seemed to be intrigued by the lack of the screen on the back of the camera and that it took this thing called "film." While we do love our digital cameras, there is something to be said about film, so we're going to say it.

We own both film and digital cameras and we strongly believe that they both still have a place (or at least they do in our home).

Why do we still use film?

1. The prints look and feel fantastic. We love the rich colours, the depth and the way the paper feels and find that digital prints just don't look or feel the same. In this age of the digital camera it's important to know the process that the place where you are taking your film uses. We have been shocked to receive "prints" made from scans that were from film we handed over anticipating the traditional process.

2. Documentation. There is something very beautiful about looking through grandmother's photo albums and we can't see that same wonder happening if it were her hard drive we were perusing instead. Even looking through the stacks of images in envelopes from our own childhoods is like a miniature treasure hunt. They are all there, even the pictures where everyone looks terrible from that one day on vacation where no one was having fun. Most of the pictures people take with their digital cameras live on their computers or Facebook pages, which are generally carefully curated, and that is really no way to leave a legacy for your descendants. Sure, you can make it a point to print your digital pictures, but the thing is most people don't, and if they do it's a select few, but with film, most people receive prints of all the photos on the roll (even the embarrassing ones) creating that unintentional paper trail for the future.

3. Light leaks and other fun stuff. Love Instagram? Well something that is even more fun is getting those effects for real by using older film cameras. Vintage cameras should be used for more than just decor and they often create seriously enchanting images due to their design "flaws." One of our favourite vintage cameras to shoot with is a hefty little Yashica which makes the most delightful square images with just a bit of blur around the edges.

4. Instant film is still pretty magical. Do you remember the first time you saw a Polaroid in action? We do. We remember thinking that this was surely the stuff of magic as we saw the print develop right before our eyes. To see if instant film would have this same effect on the modern generation we took our handy little Polaroid out with our godchildren. They thought it was the coolest thing they had ever seen in their lives and said it was like a "ninja camera." When asked why it was like a ninja camera we were told, "because it made the picture really fast with cool sounds." Our primary source for instant film is the Impossible Project and we highly recommend stopping by their shops because ninja cameras are cool.

Do you still use film? Why?

(Images: Joelle Alcaidinho)

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