Saturday, January 25, 2014

Kordian Handzlik - 5 things I love about Film

Kordian Handzlik is a 28 year old photographer based-in Krakow, Poland. He fell in love with film when he shot his first roll with Fed 5B rangefinder 7 years ago. "With this new hobby and a bag full of films I visited China (2007) and quickly found that travel and photography is a perfect mix for me," Kordian says. "Since that day I can't stop dreaming about future journeys and so far this dreams are still coming true."

His favorite type of photography is street, "but the one that's shot with medium format. It's unconvenient, the camera is heavy, focusing takes forever and you always have to carry your light meter. Why make life harder someone may ask? I guess it's all about the satisfaction you get afterwards. And, of course, Stanley Kubrick shot street with 6x6."

Here are 5 main reasons why Kordian is still shooting film:

1. Choices. There are so many choices to make before you actually start shooting. You decide what camera you want to shoot with and what format will it be - 35mm, medium, large or maybe a tiny 110? Then it comes to film. Again: color or black and white? C-41 or E-6? Cheap or expensive? Brand new or expired? People shooting digital know nothing about excitement involved with finding a roll of discontinued Kodak E100VS or Fuji Astia and deciding when or where to shoot it.

2. Mechanics. The sound of shutter and mirror slapping is something we all like to hear, but there's nothing comparable to the sound and feel of manually transported film each time you pull the winding lever or turn the winding crank. Obviously a DSLR doesn't have this "feature" and, sadly, neither do old SLRs with motor winders - even though they look badass.

3. Hard proofs. Digital files may get corrupted with time, hard disks may loose all you data unexpectedly or someday the electricity may simply go down for ever and you'll never turn your computer on. But as long as you keep your photos on negatives/slides you have a hard, physical proof of your photos being alive and present.

4. Heritage. As a sci-fi fan I should be happy for the new technologies, but somehow shooting film makes me think of myself as a part of history or at least the one of those people who can rescue it from oblivion.
For some people photography is about searching for the same "magic" which we see on vintage photos from the 40's, 60's or 80's. Film camera, just like the time machine, is probably the only tool to achieve that. During our time travels we often pay our tributes to the best photographers who, just like us, knew the funny smell of film.

5. A cause for becoming a rebel. No matter what we'll do, film photography will be getting less popular, more expensive and it will go deeper underground with each lab and each film factory that closes down. Shooting film is now what rock'n'roll was in 1950. We're rebels right now. In the fully-digital world we'll become heretics. I'd be proud to wear a badge of "The Secret Film Society" and my Hasselblad 500C/M on my neck when that day comes.

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