If You’re Not Shooting Film, You Might Be Missing Out on These Benefits to Your Creative Process
A few months ago, I started bringing a (super cheap) 35mm film camera on my walks with my dog. With a fixed number of exposures (and almost nothing by way of controls/settings), I’ve found that what I choose to photograph with this camera takes on a new layer of importance. I recently timed myself and learned that my walks have become twice as long.
For the first time, I’ve noticed that my local pond (where I have walked for almost a decade) is home to not only geese but also a blue heron, fish of all shapes and sizes, and two kinds of turtles. There’s a family of ducks, too (I can identify a few of the ducks personally based on their markings and behaviors).
I might have learned to appreciate this tiny but elaborate ecosystem using a digital camera (maybe), but I might have just ended up with thousands of bad photos of random things I happened to see while out and about. I probably wouldn’t have started walking more slowly, and I probably wouldn’t have looked as hard at the ducks or searched as much for the elusive heron.
I’m not alone in my return to film: across the board, film cameras and film stocks have soared in price. Bellamy Hunt, a camera collector and the creator of the influential film photography platform Japan Camera Hunter, tells us, “Cameras and film are becoming expensive as supply is unable to meet demand.”
So why is film photography in such high demand in 2023? There are a few reasons for more people are taking the plunge. We asked the experts—including those behind film camera shops, platforms, and community darkrooms—to tell us about some of the benefits of shooting film in a digital age.