When talking to some of my fellow photographers, while this project was not more than a half-backed idea, most of them had the same concerns about running around with an analog camera and they list almost the same benefits of digital photography:
- Take pictures with different settings
- Inspect the result immediately
- Take as much pictures as you want
- Just try several different viewpoints
- Handling this digital thing is so much easier
- Much cheaper, no need to get the prints
- Just go with some high megapixel stuff, you can crop afterwards
- You can change the picture during digital processing, several times, lossless
Sure, this are all valid advantages of digital about analog photography – technically. But this experiment is not about technology.
If you want to change something, a good approach might be to get off the beaten tracks.
I don’t want to take several shots of the same motive with different settings from different viewpoints. I want to think the picture before shooting it – once. It is also a challenge to adjust aperture and shutter speed, not only to get a valid exposure but to achieve the mood you’d planned to create. Decide about film speed for 36 exposures instead of spinning the ISO-wheel for every shot. Decide about black & white or color instead of trying BW in post, alternatively. Think about what film to use, what grain and what color and exposure behavior is favored. It is about thoughtful, considerate and slow photography.
All this can also be done with a digital camera. Valid argument, but: If you want to change something, a good approach might be to get off the beaten tracks.
Ok, there is still the thing with the higher costs. I guess, I’ll have to bite this bullet…
Some years ago, I had just fallen in love with the brand-new Fuji X100, I made the decision to leave all Canon gear at home and just take the X100 with me on my tracking vacation to Tenerife. It was fun and, with a little adjustment of the way I thought taking pictures, with a little more personal movement (with a fixed focal length you often have to “walk” your frame) and with a lot more concentration on foreground and background content, finally I was really happy with the results. And, in my own opinion, it opened my photographic mind.
So, why not extend this experience and go analog with a fixed focal lens? An analog camera without any exposure automation, film and a prime lens. This should be sufficient change to refocus my view on photography, possibly get some new inspiration and at the best light the passion again.
Next time less awkward text but more about the gear…