Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Magnus Nystedt - 5 things I love about Film

Magnus Nystedt is a photographer based-in Västerås, Sweden. He started his photographic journey many years ago by shooting film. "Then, like many others, I got into digital, but last year I went back to film." -  Nystedt says. "My main photographic project is daily photos of my hometown of Västerås, Sweden." Here are 5 main reasons why he's still shooting film. All the photos shown below are taken with Bronica SQ (with Fomapan 400 film) and Nikon L35AF (Lucky 100)..

1. The look. Yes, I know this is totally subjective, but I do think photographs shot with film look qualitatively different than their digital equivalents. We can do amazing things with computers and get pretty close to mimicking an analog look but to me there is no doubt the real thing is still unmatched.

2. The shallow depth of field. Sure, this is not inherent to film, you can get in digital too. But you can’t beat the price of a medium format film camera and the dreamy shallow depth of field it can give you. And that’s something else I really love about film: the range of relatively cheap cameras that are available to us and that whichever one we buy it will never go out of style.

3. The curiosity. I love the reaction most people have when they find out that you still shoot film. Usually it’s something like “why would you do that?” It’s a great conversation starter.

4. The craft. Especially if you develop your own film and do enlargements as well, it is truly a craft. Seeing the pictures on the negatives appear after you’ve developed the film, watching the image appear on the paper in the darkroom, etc. The process is full of aha-moments and surprises (not always pleasant ones, mind you), which are all affected by what you do. That is magic. As it happens I actually like the smell of some of the chemicals too, with the exception of Caffenol perhaps.

5. The connection to our photographic roots. By shooting film you’re more closely connected to the photographic beginnings than with digital gear. Our photographic forefathers may not have used the same type of film we use today but many of the chemical processes are the same or very similar. I like to be able to feel that direct link to the beginnings of our chosen field.

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