Monday, September 28, 2015

Ian Christie - 5 things I love about Film

Ian Christie is a 43-year-old Canada-based photographer, living in Kincardine Ontario. “I've been shooting film off and on since around 1980 when I was 8 years old. I shoot both film and digital, but I keep coming back to film.”

Ian is now using a Pentax Espio 80V and a Canon AE-1for his film photography. He has a lot of reasons to keep his passion on shooting film and here are 5 main things he would like to share with us.

1. The colours, especially reds and oranges. Among my favourite subjects are sunset and the look of a sunset on film is so rich in the red and orange. To get a similar look in digital I would have to spend a lot of time in RAWTherapee with saturation and other adjustments and then have to deal with ugly digital colour noise.

2. The grain. There is something pleasing about the grain of film, even the grain in ISO 3200 film is pleasant to look at. It is something "organic" and fits in with the picture, where often digital noise is harsh, rough edged and even worse, spots of blue, green or red.

3. It is limiting in ways that help you to become a better photographer. While I will always maintain that digital is best for learning because you can get instant feedback and not have to worry about the number of shots, that advantage is also a big disadvantage. With film the disadvantage of not getting instant feedback and limited number of shots is also a great advantage because it forces you to think and take your time, not just think "I'll take several shots, different angles, etc, then delete the ones I don't like or fix them in post."

4. Handling of film. There is something soothing and exciting about handling a canister of 135 or a roll of 120 film and loading that sticking a memory card in the camera just can't match. Same thing goes for handling the negatives versus putting the pictures on the computer.

5. This one is a big one. The cameras! There are so many different styles of film cameras out there, but they all have one thing in common, they feel more satisfying to use. You are more involved in the use of a film camera, it's not just turning it on and pushing buttons. It's loading the film, winding the film (on those without motors), it's the feeling of the shutter button or the focus ring or the aperture and shutter controls.

See more of his work at his photostream on Flickr.

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  1. Thanks for putting this up. I recently got my camera collection up on a shelf and found I have 10 film cameras.

    Included are the Canon AE-1 and Pentax Espio 80v featured in this article. Other cameras included in my collection are a Nikon FE, Canon SnappyQ, Canon WP-1, Kodak Instamatic X-15F, Agfa Optima1a, Konica FT-1 Motor, Kodak Star 435 converted to Pinhole and a Minolta XG1.

    I have recently used the Minolta and the Star 435, time to get their films developed along with another from the AE-1. Now I need to get more film.

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