This year I’ve been shooting more digital images, in part because I’ve figured out how to get Lightroom working on my phone, so I can apply film presets to digital images when I’m out and about. But I feel a bit bad about shooting less film; it’s as if I have been spending less time with an old friend. Or a group of friends, in fact. And I want to catch up with them again.
So this summer I’m making an effort not just to shoot more film again, but also to shoot some new kinds of film — or to make some new friends, as it were. My plan is to load three new kinds of film into three quite small 35mm film cameras, and then I can grab the camera (and the film) that I think might work best in a particular situation.
Over the years I’ve found that familiarity with various kinds of film means I understand how they respond and the sorts of situations and lighting where they will work best. Here, for example, is the sort of situation I think of as a classic “Portra” scene. It does Mediterranean skies so well!
And this is the kind of situation in which I’m glad I have Ektar in my camera, because of the way it responds differently to the light with such fine grain.
And here’s a classic Tri-X image. It’s perfect for the dark and gloomy days of winter, and I love the character of its grain.
These three are like old friends. But now I’m going to try adding some new friends to our little group, and see how I get along with them. It will probably be a bit awkward to begin with, but the only way to get to know a new type of film is to give it a try. I’ll let you know how we got on later in the year!