I know people tend to call those who shoot with a film camera as “hipster”. I believe for most people, they will think that those who still shoot on film is just trying to find a way to show that they are “artistic”, “better than the rest”, “know what they are doing” or “more pro”.
Well, shooting with a film camera can be very demanding at times, especially when you are shooting without any light meter. So this might be the reason why it makes one “better” or “more pro”. But there are quite a number of film cameras out there which have built in light meter, and using one is actually pretty similar as using any other digital camera with center weighted metering, so it doesn’t necessarily make you “better” or “more pro”.
So why do I shoot film? Perhaps is for the nostalgic feeling I have with photography, perhaps is to experience myself on what’s the hype about shooting with film. I first started off with a Nikon FM3A and I must say it really is addictive to shoot with, be it the camera itself or film. The shooting experience is similar and yet different compared to digital.
If you followed my blog, you’ll know that one of the reason why I enjoy shooting with a rangefinder camera is for its limitations. For film, you will have another set of limitation for you to work with and that limitation is what makes me keep thinking before every shot, frame and reframe until I’m certainly sure I have found the best frame, waiting patiently for the moment to execute the shot.
In today’s context, I believe shooting film is still relevant. End of the day, film or digital is just a medium to express your photography and creativity. What’s important is still your vision. For me, shooting film is more like a training ground and “hobby” to me. My point of view is, I can’t become a serious film shooter until I can take control of the whole process, from shooting, darkroom developing and finally scanning and editing. Will I become one some day? Maybe, we’ll see. For now, I’ll continue to enjoy shooting film occasionally to sharpen my skills and vision in photography. Till then.