film diaries

Partly out of being an old-soul, partly out of sentimentality, and maybe partly influenced by the Wild We Roam videos I’ve watched on YouTube, I bought a film camera. Funny how I seem to be holding a piece of history on my hands. There was an expired film that was sitting in my cabinet for a year now, perfect to be used for a beginner like me. Not much will be wasted if no good shots turned out.

I tried to learn about aperture and shutter speed, those nitty-gritty technicalities that is easy to overlook when using our smartphones. The first real lesson that film taught me was to focus–both literally and figuratively—on the subject, in the moment.

Dana Roberts has perfectly coined the words on why it’s interesting to take on film photography: It all just begs you to slow down, to focus on the moment at hand, and take it all in and then…the most important part…to stay present. No checking how the photo turned out, no re-taking the selfie, not even the need to see how many likes it got. Nope, a film camera gives you the luxury of hoping that you captured the moment and letting that be enough.

Then, there was patience. It took a month for the black and white film to be developed, to say that I was excited to see those 36 shots was an understatement. I was like a giddy child on the counter, grinning from ear; those were the only negatives that I anticipated in my life. I was simply glad that there was more than one good shot among them. And yes, these first few photographs were more than enough to keep me going.

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