for the love of film
Where to start this post? It's likely to be long and time-consuming on my part, but entirely worth it.
This post, when it comes down to it, is a tribute to all the film photographers out there. This post is being written because, every week, I get a comment or an email from a contact that says something along the lines of, "Thanks for getting me back into film" or, "Because of you I bought a Hasselblad" or, "After looking at your photos I picked up my (insert name of film camera here) today."
Statements like that kind of blow me away. To think that we can inspire each other to not only go out and take photographs but to also branch out of our comfort zones and into the (occasionally complicated, extremely varied) world of film... well, it makes me smile all over. Anyone following my stream for even a small amount of time knows how much I love film. I have nothing against digital, and indeed own a Nikon D300 myself. I enjoy experimenting with that camera, and it's priceless for wedding and portrait work.
But my bleeding, sentimental heart will always love film more. The reasons are so numerous that I hesitate to explain them now. In short, there's a depth, feeling, color and texture, not to mention a process that's unique to film. And the more I think about it, the more I realize it's not just about the film itself... it's about the camera, and the person holding it. Certain people just... mesh, bond, whatever it is... with certain cameras. They take the capabilities of that camera, add their own capabilities and creativity in, and the result is a photograph that possesses a certain style. Photographer+camera choice+film choice = an identity that seems to resonate. In other words, when I see a thumbnail from a contact here on Flickr, I'm much better at identifying the photographer (before I see the name on the image) if the image is film, and not digital.
Over the years on Flickr, I've even come to associate certain cameras with certain photographers. This is not to pigeonhole these photographers into a set style, but rather to praise the finesse with which they handle those cameras. For instance, when I think of great pinhole images, I think of Erik and Don. Hasselblad brings to mind Lauren and Cynthia (and many others). Holga, to me, means Stephen and Amber. The Polaroid powerhouses are Whitney and Dave. I've never seen anyone make a Pentax 6x7 sing like Zeb. The Fuji G-617 brings up thoughts of Matt's stream. And I can't possibly imagine a Minolta X-700 without picturing it in Sarah's hands.
So what I want to say is: I'm thankful, outright grateful, that I've been able to inspire others to try film. Whether that's directly or indirectly. And my own inspiration comes from so many of you. The contacts I've already listed are just a few in a field of many talented photographers. I've made it a point today to gather a much longer list of contacts. I know with 100% certainty that I've missed a few people for this list, but it's at least a start for any of you looking to browse a bit more in the world of film.
By the way, this photograph? It's the Hasselblad version of a digital image I posted last month. I like the digital image quite a bit. But when I received the Hasselblad scan back... well, it blew me away. I love the depth and color of this one much more, and it just feels more... real, to me.
And without further ado, I give you The List. It's somewhat categorized (but not amazingly well, as it's my own brain and interests that did the categorizing).
All Around Awesomeness
i.e., photogs that wield a number of analog cameras in wonderful ways
at least, the ones I strongly associate with shooting Hasselblad
Other Medium or Large Format
35mm and Miscellaneous
And that ends the most involved post I've ever made. Except, it's not really done yet, because I know I'll be adding more people over the next few days... it was impossible to remember everyone tonight! I even missed some obvious ones.
(Apparently Flickr will only let me tag a certain number of people... so if I missed you, feel free to try and tag yourself!)