Starting taking pictures again
I’ve started taking photos when digital was something too new to everyone. When “digital doesn’t have the same quality of film”. When no-one knew about it. At that time I used to shoot my school travels with a disposable camera.
At the end of the first decade of ’00, following the LOMO culture, I’ve tried to shoot film again. Funny enough to buy a Seagull 6×6, HOLGA 6×6, and some point and shoot cameras. At that time, developing a roll of cross-processed film wasn’t too expansive. It was like 1€ per roll, so easy.
Then, during the last year, thanks to the rebirth of analog photography (especially on Instagram), I decided to go back again with it in a more professional way. So I’ve bought a Leica M2 and I’ve tried to use it side by side with my digital equipment during some weddings.
Long story short: I fell in love with film photography again.
I fell in love with more consciously.
I decided to develop my films at home and print them by myself, with the help of the Durst enlarger my father gave me. I love the idea of creating something from scratch, to test different films and different developers, to develop black and white films or color films.
Right now I’ve found my comfort zone here:
Kodak Tri-X 400 developed in Kodak D76
ILFORD FP4 125 developed in Kodak D76
Kodak Portra 400 developed in Tetenal Colortec C-41
Two main differences between shooting film or digital
In my opinion, the main difference between Film & Digital is the process. You don’t know if you’ve got a good photo until you print it or scan it. Everything can be so random that the process itself is something so exciting for me. This feeling is something that you really can’t have with the digital. You could achieve a lot of different results just by changing the developing time or the chemicals or if you push or pull the films.
Another big deal for me is the grain of the film because it feels like something “tangible”. Hard to simulate in the digital world.
Learn to see the world differently
This may sound strange to someone but, in my opinion, if you shoot with the film you may become a better photographer. That’s because shooting with film helps you to understand how to use the light, especially regarding black & white, and it also “forces” you to think more about the frame you’re taking since you have only 24/36 exposure in a roll.
An ode to the developing process
I must confess that I still love to develop my digital RAW files in Lightroom, that’s why I’ve also created some presets packages (www.brezzapresets.com). But for me, the film developing process is like doing yoga or meditation. Everything stops around me. It’s like a beautiful routine to clear your mind. I turn on my favorite music. I open my portable dark-room from Patterson and I start to insert the rolls into the tank. Then I turn on the timer on my iPhone and I follow the recipes…
Every single agitation of the tank makes you feel like you are painting an image without seeing it. The best is when you turn out the roll from the tank and start to see the negative photos on it.
Here are some other images shooted with my Leica M2:
All photos are scanned with Epson V600 so, not lab quality but good enough for a web version.