Is Film All that it is Made Out to Be?


I have been photographing with a digital camera for the past five years. Should I experiment photographing with a film camera? Will it improve my skills?

The debate on whether film is better or digital, is possibly the most ruthless battle in photography. Each of them has their own advantages and disadvantages. Film photography makes you more disciplined. You are limited to 36 photographs, and then you have to face the tedious task of reloading film. All of this makes you think twice before you release the shutter. Focusing is manual only and the only way to get the exposure right is to understand metering and use the computer within you. And, it does not end there.

Once you are done photographing the subject, you have to get the negative developed, preferably, yourself. Then, you have to master the traditional darkroom to burn, dodge and postprocess the final photograph.

Both film and digital excel in different aspects. While film is on a decline, it still has a long way to go before it completely disappears. If you want to switch to film, do it only if you are willing to extract and make the most of the excellence of film, not because it is considered pure or is more niche.