Monday, July 7, 2014

Jason Devaun - 5 things I love about Film

Jason Devaun, an American photographer originally from Brooklyn, New York currently living in Texas, is a writer for Australia based photography. He both shoots digital and film cameras but today Jason shared with us 5 reasons that he's still loved shooting film.

1. Happy accidents and unexpected treasures. I tend to approach film photography with somewhat of an “art project” mindset, so I’m far more tolerant of imperfections as opposed to to when I’m shooting digital. I don’t consider light leaks and lens flare to be problems, even when I’m not expecting to see them in a photo. And since I’m admittedly bad at reading manuals (I just don’t do it), I’ve made my fair share of accidental double exposures. Turns out I’ve enjoyed the results of most of those accidents.

2. I like a challenge. I would never go so far as to say digital photography is easy. But film photography sure isn’t convenient. Film photography forces me to be much more deliberate and thoughtful when I’m working. There are no do-overs. No delete button. If I don’t get it right the first time — get it right in camera — then I’ve just wasted a frame. As noted above, it doesn’t always go right but I am ever cognizant of the fact I have a limited number of frames to work with. Not all of my film cameras have working light meters, so getting the exposure I want (rather than a “correct” exposure) has become second nature.

3. Minimal post post-processing. Once I get my film developed and scanned, I may or may not edit them in Lightroom. I’m more likely to leave my film shots untouched, but sometimes I’ll do a little “fixing.”

4. Grain versus noise. Like virtually everything else on the list, this is entirely subjective (and, perhaps, a figment of my imagination), but film grain wins the war of aesthetics over digital noise every time. I understand the semantic use of noise as an analogy for grain, but that’s where that relationship ends for me. I’m partial to real film grain.

5. The analogue personality. Not to be overly anthropomorphic here, but I thoroughly enjoy the personality of film and old cameras. While I love my DSLRs (Digital single-lens reflex), I don’t feel they have much personality beyond what I assign to them. My old cameras, on the other hand, each come with their own distinctive quirks that generally escape being put into words, but if you shoot film you’ll know what I mean.

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