Having been born in the mid 80s, I have managed to grasp the final wave of film photography. Despite advances in digital camera technology, I believe it is still important to go back to basics and experience the beauty, aesthetics as well as limitations of film photography. Having been dependant on digital technology and the “saving the image” technique in Photoshop, I have had a great opportunity not only to shoot on 35mm film once more, but also develop my own B&W film and create the fine-art prints.
The time invested in the darkroom developing a couple of film rolls makes one appreciate the effort, knowledge and critique of taking the analogue photographs. Would I suggest all photographs to shoot at least once on film and then develop it in the darkroom? I definitely would. And here are my reasons why.
First, when having the limitation of shooting on film, the photographer makes assessed decisions of which photos to take.
Second, by shooting on film allows the photographer to master the settings and develop a better understanding of the photography taking process.
Third, while creating fine prints in the darkroom, none of the prints would be the same. In comparison to Photoshop where the history of actions can be seen, fine prints can never be replicated, hence, remain unique.
One of the challenges of using the darkroom is not being able to see the changes in progress. Instead, the photographer should rely on his experience and intuition.
Personally, going back to the original photo taking and photo making process enabled me to become more critical, self-aware and decisive when it comes to pressing the button. As a result, in my professional practice, I have stopped relying on the image post production, instead, ensuring I do most of the “work” within the camera.
© Natalia Smith Photography
All rights reserved. No parts of the content of this website may be reproduced or distributed in public, without the prior written permission of the publisher. All images are copyright to their respective owners and are protected under international copyright laws and are protected under international copyright laws. Without prior written permission it is not permitted to copy, download, or reproduce these images in any way whatsoever.