Film Photography

Before digital photography, there was film photography where you had no idea how your photos were going to turn out. You had to process them first in a tiresome and extensive method before developing something even remotely appealing.  

At times, film photography seems like a lost art, but it’s still there even if we don’t think it is. Senior year of college, I decided to experiment and take a photography course. I borrowed a Nikon FG from my dad and went into class feeling anxious. I had never developed film before let alone knew how to work a camera from 1986. All I knew was that black and white photography could be amazing if you actually knew how to develop it.

Guess what? You can’t just click on a black and white filter like you do with your phone’s camera. You actually have to insert film and watch the amount of light that your camera captures in the light meter. If you don’t, your photos will turn out as either overexposed or underexposed and you have to start from square one.

When you first develop your film negatives, you have to do it in complete darkness with only your sense of touch. You also have to wind your film on a reel and cut it before it can be developed in chemicals. Just make sure you don’t cut your fingers with the scissors or the can opener when you pop the lid off of the film canister. I did that before and you don’t want blood on your negatives.

Even though it is difficult at times, it is so relaxing to listen to music and develop film. Standing in the darkroom with the safelight shining red overhead, watching the clock while you rock your photo paper in a bath of chemicals. Most of the photos turn out like crap, but it’s worth it in the end when you develop a hidden gem.