Do you remember that crunchy click when you took a photograph with a non-digital SLR camera? I do. But only vaguely. When I recently got the chance to go on a film photography course for a day it all came back to me. And it had me hooked at the first click.
I know what you are probably thinking… Do people still use those things? Does film photography still exist? Well, yes and it was awesome. We were each given a non-digital camera, a roll of black and white film and some helpful hints about photography. The guy running the day had sourced cameras for us to use from e-bay and markets where he apparently got them cheap-cheap. I had forgotten how to load film (moment of embarrassment) and was amazed that the SLR camera I was using did not even need batteries.
Having overcome these early challenges, we then practiced with f-stops and apertures inside and outside and got to shoot off a roll of film. I loved the click of the SLR when it took a photo and easily got into the habit of rolling the film on so that the next photo could be taken. What was very strange was not being able to see the photo straight away on the little screen at the back like in a digital camera. Often, I would take the shot and then look for the photo on the screen only to be faced with the black plastic of the back of the camera. Odd.
Then, we developed the film ourselves in an impromptu darkroom. Yip, with all the chemicals and everything. I found out that the developing process is an art form in and of itself and that you can push and pull films and create horrible messes or beautiful works of art. The film then became negatives and they got hung out to dry. We did not create prints but scanned the negatives into digital photographs (a bit ironic, but anyways).
And here are some of my favorite shots from the day…
and do you know what was even more amazing… it was all for free for the participants. Ah. I love Finland 🙂