Sometimes I wonder if I would have gotten into photography when film was the only option.
Digital cameras make everything so easy for a photographer. You can shoot as much as you want so to speak and you’ll probably get a few good shots and no one has to see the rest. Your exposure settings are saved for later study. You don’t have to change film, or pay to develop it, or wait for prints. And so on.
But maybe there are drawbacks to this. I can easily shoot a few hundred images in a weekend and then find myself sifting through two dozen shots of the same subject, with many similar shots and many failures. Maybe digital ease has spoiled me. Maybe I’d learn more if I am forced to think about every shot and had to worry about wasting film. Maybe I could learn something if I approach my digital camera as though it is shooting film.
In the past before digital, I chose my roll of “film” to be color, 24 exposure, 400 ISO. In other words, I put my camera’s settings to 400 ISO and color and didn’t change it for 24 exposures or delete any exposures. To minimise the number of times getting prints back to the lab, i kept these limitations while walking around snapping in the past.
I am not sure if I am any faster at photographing in “film” versus digital. I can often spend ten minutes or more shooting something from a variety of angles, trying every possibility so that I can have good choices later. I spend almost that much time in a few places trying to visualize and get exactly the right shot and often, deciding not even to take the shot because it just didn’t seem interesting enough to be worthy of one of the precious 24 exposures. In addition, I tried to refrain from photographing the same subject twice in most cases.
With the forethought put into most of these photos while using "film", several worked and I liked many of the results. I realized that most of the shots I didn’t take need not need to be taken. What I got was mostly what I would have liked to get.
Overall, as an avid photographer, i find that this is a good exercise in thinking before shooting and one that made me appreciate both "film" and digital camera technology even more. :-)
A freelance Singapore-based travel photographer / photojournalist. I seek the extraordinary, but finds beauty in the everyday. Life is interesting, capture it.
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