What is it about film?
For those of us who have been shooting for a while, is analog photography some sort of nostalgic thing? If we open up a 35mm canister and breath in that unique blend of gelatin and silver, will we will somehow regain our youth?
And for those just starting out: film can be seen as a revolt against the current trend of mass production technology and cookie-cutter art. Lugging around a dented Pentax K1000 in a soiled JanSport backpack signals one's disdain for the imaging establishment.
Oh, I don't know. It's probably none of those things. Yet the allure of film still calls to me.
I've been shooting with a 35mm Contax T2 all week as part of The Film Project. And I've noticed a couple things. First, batteries aren't really an issue, are they? There's a Lithium cell inside the T2 that will probably last well into 2016. No rechargers required.
Also, there really isn't much to think about. I spend some time framing the shot, take a stab at the correct exposure, then press the shutter. I can't change the ISO or adjust the white balance. And there's no obsessing over the image on the LCD. I find myself wondering what to do next. So I take another picture.
This morning I set the camera on the table, stared at it for a moment, then asked, "Why am I doing this?"
I came up with a few reasons. First, I really like the Contax T2, and I feel it's too early for it to be put to pasture. This was my first nimble camera. Also, I've been storing a box of Fujicolor Pro 400H in the fridge since 2007. I think its aged enough to produce something interesting. And 16 rolls is plenty for a project.
And I guess there's a part of me that doesn't want film to die. Not that I'm going to perish with it, or anything. But certainly neither of us is ready for the retirement home.
So we're going to do something together. Me and my 16 rolls of Fujicolor Pro 400H.
So, what do you think of that, Father Time?