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.
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.