March 16, 2012

Film Photography

Hello everyone! How was your week?

Today we're going to go back a few years ago and talk about something that maybe some of you have tried to forget (as my mom would say about this subject,) But, just so we're clear, I am no film photography expert, but here are a few basics that you should know about film. Why do I love film so much? Well, when shooting with digital, you don't get the same values as you do with film, you get greater depth of field and the colors are fairly exact and I do very little editing to my images. After getting my first digital SLR camera, that's all I shot. But now... I'm so bored! Do any of you feel that way too? I have to force myself to shoot digital. So, I bought myself this little beauty a few months ago and fell in love with photography all over again.

Canon EOS Elan 7
The best part is, I can still use all of my Canon lenses with it.
I got mine on for around $75

Thank goodness for me, this camera is "dummy proof," it is so easy to use, you just put your film in, slide it over, and it lets you know if the film is in properly by making a little sound, after the film is used up, it winds it up for you. Whalah! It has a very accurate light meter in the view finder and on the top right of your camera, where it also shows you your focus points, F/stop and shutter speed. Totally recommend this to anyone who is going to shoot film.

I have been trying out different film types lately, and I found that Kodak Portra 400, 160, 160VC and Ilford black and white films are my favorite. Some of you may be asking, "What do those numbers mean?" And that's fine if you don't know! Those numbers are called film speed; on a digital camera you would most likely know it as your ISO. When you set your ISO manually on your camera, it will typically give you a range from 100-3200, depending on which camera you have. But film is a little bit different, more simple. When you buy a roll of 160 film, it's going to be not so sensitive to light. I use 160 film on a very sunny day. When I use a roll of 3200 film, it's going to be VERY sensitive to light, you would want to use that indoor or in low lighting, or maybe you are just going for the grainy look.

Here are the differences between the two:

3200 film (lots of grain, which I love)
My friend/photographer Kiera Haddock snapped this of me.

 400 (very soft, but still crisp)


 I noticed that I spend more time on each image, composing it perfectly and making sure the lighting is just right. The complete opposite of what I do with digital, click click click... etc. I love to look at my images after I develop them, its exciting because you don't know what they will look like. 
Speaking of developing, how many of you still go to Walgreens or Rite Aid to process your film? Well guess what? Stop it! They do not care about your film. You need to take your film to a professional lab that develops film frequently. The problem with Walgreens or rite aid is that they only change their chemicals depending on their demand of developing. Since photography has moved to digital, people hardly use film. Therefore, you will mostly likely have your film processed through old chemicals which can leave out contrast, detail and can give you incorrect color. From this moment on, promise me and say an oath in your head that you will go to a professional lab.

So for the people that are not interested in shooting film, but still want to spice up your photography and have some fun, here are my favorite toys...

Believe it or not, I got BOTH of these Polaroid cameras on eBay for $6!

Hint: don't waste your time searching for expired Polaroid film (they quit making this film)

There is a company called IMPOSSIBLE FILM who makes polaroid film and sells all sorts of other goodies. Take a gander!

Here are a few of my own polaroids using their film...

Overall, film is a lot of fun, and you definitely learn a lot doing it. If you're bored with digital, I highly recommend trying some film!

-Lizzy Pinckney (Persnickety In-House Designer) 
Find more of me Here


  1. I agree, there's nothing like film photography. I like many digital Canon cameras, but I can't help but appreciate film cameras, too.