Film Photography as a way of Inspiration for your Life
Hi, my name is Anastasia, I am 23 years old, and I live in Ukraine, in the wonderful old city of Lviv. This year I received a master’s degree from the Ukrainian National Forestry University. Now I live in the city centre, and I have a fluffy white cat. Last year I decided to start taking pictures on film.
In addition to photography, I love walking around the city. Sometimes it inspires me, sometimes it helps to dissipate, but often it really lifts my spirits. I never plan my route. I always go to new places and try to spend as much time as possible on such walks. It has become a habit for me to leave the house once a week, take a camera with me, turn on the music and go for a walk searching for new interesting shots.
I don’t remember when I became interested in photography. I have always seemed to like it. When I was little, my cousin had a camera that I constantly borrowed to take a couple of shots for myself.
I have always been attracted by the fact that any photo, even the most unsuccessful one, is a certain mention of one or another moment of our life.
I don’t like to take pictures of everyday life, it’s too boring for me.
I prefer to admire the architecture of the city and its life. Since most of my photos are photos of the city, streets and people around me – this is probably my everyday life. I see a certain beauty and meaning in this.
I bought my camera (the Olympus Trip AF 51) after falling in love with film photography.
One day my friend came to my party with a film camera. She took some photos and sent them to me. And I just fell in love with this atmosphere, this nostalgia… I thought the time for film cameras was long gone, but these photos were so interesting, so atmospheric, that I also wanted to try to shoot on film. So I decided to buy my first camera, which I use until today.
I did not understand the types of film cameras and didn’t know which one to choose. The online store advised me of this model because it was perfect for a beginner like me. And I’m completely happy with it! This is exactly what I needed! I adore it, it never fails me, and the photos are beautiful. This is a normal compact camera with no settings, but it has already become my right hand. I trust it as myself.
In the future, I want to change the camera for the better, but I already know exactly which brand of camera I will prefer. It will definitely be Olympus.
In my opinion, to use the film in 2021 is cool. Even though I recently started taking pictures with a film camera, I realize how it is gaining popularity again. Everyone who shoots on film sees a sense in it. For some, it is nostalgia, for others, a new way of self-expression, and so on. For me, it’s both. But personally, I like the fact that each photo seems to have a soul. It seems to live. You can take 1000 photos on a professional camera or a mobile camera, delete unnecessary or retouch it, but it will not work like that with film. You photograph a certain moment or event (anything) forever. You can’t remove it from the film, you can’t fix it. This is a living moment that will remain forever – without decorations.
It seems to me that people who use film have the same opinion as me. This is a touch of children’s nostalgia in the modern world of digital cameras. This is something that is not like ordinary digital photography. This is a certain ritual – when you buy a film, put it in the camera, try to catch interesting moments or angles, constantly looking for interesting shots specifically for the film. Then you hand over the film, scan it – and you get a physical film – not just a memory card with gigabytes of photos, but only 36 frames with moments of your life and the lives of people around you. For me, this is the magic of film photography.
Each film you choose also affects the mood of your photos. I haven’t tried many, but I want to mention the ones I like the most: Kodak Ultramax 400 and Fujifilm Superia X-tra 400. I like the photos taken on these two films the most. They have bright colours and better sharpness (compared to Kodak Gold 200).
I recently tried the Fujifilm Superia X-tra 400 film, and it really impressed me. Compared to its counterpart (Kodak Ultramax 400), it has a more interesting colour rendering and a certain cool tone. I mean, if warm tones dominate Kodak film, then Fujifilm goes more into cold tones, which I like. Interesting experience with this film, I’m thinking to try it again in the future.
Now I’m taking my first steps in film photography. There are many questions and moments in which I do not understand, but I am very interested in taking these first steps – trying new films, getting acquainted with mechanical film cameras, being constantly looking for new shots – these are things that formulate my own style and experience in film photography.
I’ve already put together some of my own tips for beginners in film photography:
- Never open the camera cover when the film is inserted;
- Do not put your fingers in the lens;
- Always carry spare batteries (and even better, also a spare roll of film);
- While you are a beginner do not take photos at night – you just spoil the shots;
- Sunny days – the best to make some interesting shots.
Now I like street photography – to photograph my city, its architecture in my own style. Maybe I will get bored in the future, and I will switch my attention to something else. I don’t want to stick to a certain genre, and I can’t be sure in advance what kind of film shooting I will like in the future.
All I know is that I like it, and I don’t want to stop. I want to try some more different film stocks. I want to improve my photography skills and buy a more advanced film camera. I want to develop in this direction. And I’m sure I’ll get it all over time.
Text and Photos by Anastasiya Novotna