The reasons I still shoot in film.

Apple announced that the new i-phones will be equipped with 12 megapixel cameras. Canon has introduced a new full-frame mirrorless camera system. Tons of “new” and “better” cameras come out every year. I mainly use digital cameras for commercial photographs and that forces me to check out new gear and see what’s up and coming in the photo industry.

However, I still use film. Especially for my fine art work, I believe that black and white film photography is the way to go.

Film is not cost-effective today; if I make a mistake I just end up wasting my money. The image quality of film photography often seems inferior to today's digital photography. Film photography is not immediate, it takes patience; I don’t know how my photographs will come out until I have time in the darkroom. And if I shoot outside, I have to bring film rolls and they get cumbersome. Ok, so why I am still shooting with film?

Reason 1:  I like black and white photography because I started photography before digital cameras were common. When I was young I studied master photographers’ photos and they were all black and white. In my opinion, the ultimate mode of photography is black and white film. 

Reason 2: I like being in the darkroom. The darkroom brings me to a meditative state, it's like yoga. When the mood strikes I listen to some jazz but usually I prefer silence so that all I hear is the sound of running water. The darkroom is so mysterious, I love the process that takes place in my darkroom. 

Reason 3: I like the smell of film photography. The odors produced in the darkroom are arguably bad for my health and most people find them unpleasant but oddly, I love it.  

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I worry that film won’t be around forever; my favorite photography practice depends on the livelihood of film and paper manufacturers. I hope I can continue to shoot, process, and develop film for the rest of my life.  

Fujifilm X-Pro 2, robust and reliable camera

Time flies with this camera, it's been three years since I purchased my brand new Fuji X Pro-2.

The purpose of owning this camera is for me to take it anywhere I go outside my studio. This camera is always with me; I have photographed the streets of New York City, forests, mountains, and rivers.

When I was in the market for a digital camera I wasn’t too concerned about the quality of photographs it would shoot because these days almost any digital camera can do a high quality job.  Most importantly, I wanted to have the same excitement as when I got my first film Nikon mechanical SLR camera. X Pro-2 did the trick because of its classic-camera-feel, mechanical and beautiful design, lightness, and simple controls; all of these characteristics spark a sense of nostalgia for my early days in photography.

I appreciate technology and understand how people get excited about buying a new digital camera every few years. But this camera ages well just like a pair of jeans and I’m enjoying it more and more. For me, the X Pro-2 is still doing the trick and I know that I’ll continue to use this camera for a long, long time.

studio@tatsuronishimura.com