A tough wake up call of buying an old film camera is that you are shooting the same camera as the masters used to shoot. A Leica M3 and you are using a Henri Cartier-Bresson favorite, shoot a Olympus OM-1 and you are using a Jane Bown's camera of choice, shoot a Nikon F2 and you are using the camera Steve McCurry used to shoot 'The Afghan Girl".
Gone are the megapixels, focus stacking and the electronic wizardry we have learned to love. All they used was a box with a lens and some film. The result...images that will stand the test of time.
This is one aspect I love of film photography, all you have is a mechanical devise and a bit of film. Everything else you bring as the photographer. This is also why I am so impressed of the masters of film photography. While digital photography is wonderful, I never know if I am looking at what was shot, or what was made in post processing.
In the traditional darkroom, all you can do is darken, brighten or crop. Nothing else can really be done without bringing the image into a computer. So what you see is what was there when the image was taken.
If you are on the fence about trying film photography, check out a photography book from one of the masters shoot between 1920's through 1970's and you will be floored at what was possible with the most basic equipment. Then, when you realize that you can buy the SAME equipment you will begin to understand the thrill of shooting a film camera!
In the middle of packing our house in London for our move to Jakarta, I had to make a week long trip to Paris for work. While any reason for going to Paris is a good one, work does not give me much time to really enjoy what that wonderful city has to offer. So I took a handful of pictures and moved on.
A few days later I was back in London finishing the packing of the house. I had one last weekend to be in London on my own and I had planed to go into town and walk in the footsteps of Dickens. And so I did, taking the same camera (Leica ME) which I had taken to Paris with me.
Fast forward a few weeks, and I find myself in Jakarta on the first free weekend since arriving. I am a bit under the weather, so I opt to stay in and try to unpack my camera equipment. Remembering that I had a memory card to dump, I set up my computer and went to work.
While in London I went to one of Dickens's homes which is now a museum. It was wonderful to see a victorian home but photographically there was little to shoot. The best shots were in the basement where I captured a few worth keeping.
I have been unable to take any pictures of Jakarta yet however it seems a great opportunity for some street photography. This is a genre that I have not really learned but I believe I will get a change to do just that.
Patrick...confirmed film & digital photography addict.