I recently listened to an audio post from NPR (National Public Radio) about how young people are using film to “act on nostalgia from a time they never knew.” Interesting, I never really thought about it like that before. I started photographing on film when I was young, around 8 or so, with disposable cameras. I loved taking pictures and waiting an hour to see what the result was.
Feet, bricks, my parents with their heads cut off, sidewalk cracks, animals on the street. Little masterpieces.
This podcast talks about the excitement people get when participating in the PROCESS of film photography. Even if you are apart of the digital generation, it’s unmistakable that the film process is a lot more magical than the digital one. The podcast even has the sounds film cameras make; winding, cranking, pulling, loading, shutters, and mirrors. I feel like each little film camera has a such a personality of its own. I’ve discussed before how companies like Urban Outfitters are capitalizing on this realization, especially with their line of Lomography cameras. I love that and I love that it’s getting more people interested and involved with film. Why? Because film is different. NO ONE will ever be able to take the same exact roll of photos you took, they can’t be duplicated. They can come close, but not duplicated. Film is original and real and it delivers that rareness that people so often crave in their personal lives. As I always think to myself, holding a strip of negatives is much more valuable to me than holding a memory card.
My favorite part of the interview was this:
Lawyer Catherine Tai(ph) is here today to collect a roll she shot.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Prints back?
CATHERINE TAI: Yeah.
SILVERMAN: She shot a roll of 36 exposures.
TAI: I don’t know if any of these came out. Oh, that’s interesting.
SILVERMAN: About 30 looked OK. But what’s important to her is not perfection but surprise.
TAI: It doesn’t seem to make sense because the digital technology is so fast and so good now.
SILVERMAN: Or maybe too good. The joy of film to people like Catherine Tai lies in the suspense between the snapping and the moment you see the results.
TAI: When, you know, you’ve dropped off that roll, you have no idea what’s on it. You have all these hopes of, you know, having captured just the right moment. And sometimes they’re very disappointing, what you get back. And sometimes it’s like a miracle. You discover it’s even better than you remembered.