A recent meeting with fellow photographer Martin Jeffery gave me reason to consider again, the merits of film photography. Martin uses only film. His photos are stunning, take a look at his awesome blog.
I always think of the difference between film and digital photography, in terms of my DJing days. I learnt to DJ using vinyl. The move to digital DJing had already begun but belt-driven turntables was all I could afford to buy when I started out. But I am so glad I learnt to DJ this way, because by the time I moved to CDJs (turntables that use CDs), I felt I had a greater appreciation of how to manipulate the music and try to achieve some of the same gorgeous sound quality of vinyl.
However in photography I learnt on digital and, apart from my very early childhood cameras, have never used film. I am a bit sad about this. Photographs created using film have a certain warmth, depth and intangible 'je ne sais quoi'. It would be far too expensive to start learning film photography now, but I do wish that I had been exposed (pun intended) to film photography much earlier in life.
But no point in dwelling. Instead, I try to bring a little more 'film' into my digital when I have the time. I become a little more considered in my choice of settings, imagining that each frame is a one-off and unrepeatable event. I take my time. I try not to peek (too much) at the display screen. I look for a variety of images and scenes. I searched for light and shade, and interesting shadows and shapes. Knowing that I won't be doing much digital editing after these shoots mean that an interesting image is even more crucial.
So as I waited at Lancaster Castle for a client to arrive this morning, I took advantage of the amazing morning winter light. The light fell beautifully on the walls and roads. I then cheated (?) and did some film-esque post-processing, and I like the results. See what you think...