Why dusting off your film camera…

can add so much to an experience.

Valhalla
‘Valhalla’ …  the final portrait

Whenever there’s a new form of media, we always think it’s going to replace the old thing, and it never does. We still have radio, however long after TV was introduced.

Matt Mullenweg

I had the opportunity this past summer to take a trip back in time to a turn of the century farmhouse and outbuildings that belonged to my husband’s grandparents. Located near Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan on some of the best and most productive agricultural land in Saskatchewan, the Regina plain represents the bottom of a glacial lake that covered the area after the last ice age.

The purpose of the trip was a memorial service for my mother in law and an opportunity to say good-bye to this farm as a new family was going to begin a life there. Before that would happen though, all buildings were to be demolished and returned to the earth.

I wanted to capture the farm as it was and would no longer be in three short months. As I packed my gear for the trip my mind kept going back to film and how beautiful it would feel to capture this on an old medium format camera. To that end I have a 1950’s Yashica D TLR that is in pristine condition so along with my digital cameras I packed that old girl and some rolls of Ilford 120 film.

The experience was an incredible one and my idea to go back in time with my choice of camera equipment felt exactly right. As I wandered the home site I was reminded of the differences in photography today and how common it is to take hundreds of images and then just discard the ones we don’t like with a click of a button. I found myself slowing down and being far more thoughtful about each image.

Upon arriving home I shipped my film off to the Ilford Lab for development and had that long forgotten feeling of anticipation that you get when you are waiting to get your pictures back. When I opened the package I was not disappointed and found the detail in these images to be breathtaking.

Did I shoot digital as well? Of course I did, some infrared too, but the feeling of stepping back in time and slowing down the pace was one that I will remember for a very long time. Those film images were also my favorites of the shoot.

I was reminded of this experience when I came across the above quote by the developer of WordPress, Matt Mullenweg.

I do think film is here to stay and as our world gets faster I heartily recommend shooting some. Since I have been doing so it changes how I shoot with my digital cameras, I am more thoughtful about the process and about getting it right in the camera.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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