the photoshooter's journey from taking to making

‘CUZ I WANNA, THAT’S WHY

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The mysteries of photography reveal themselves equally well in either analog images (like this one) or digital shots.

By MICHAEL PERKINS

THERE ARE NO RATIONALLY DEFENSIBLE “REASONS” TO SHOOT FILM. Every technical argument for abandoning digital and re-embracing analog has been answered, and everything that the film experience delivers, in terms of results, can be duplicated or simulated with greater control, speed and economy in the digital domain.

But here’s the fun part: YOU ALSO DO NOT NEED TO JUSTIFY YOUR DESIRE TO SHOOT FILM. Just admit to yourself that it’s an emotional choice or a matter of nostalgic curiosity. Just getting to this point can be very freeing, since you finally can see the flaws in the most commonly “reasoned” claims made about film, including the following ones, taken verbatim from various film fan sites:

Old Cameras Are Fun To Collect  So are stamps, and you don’t have to dust, repair or make additional purchases of supplementary supplies just to own them

Analog Cameras Provide Insight Into How Photos Are Taken  So will any camera ever made. Turns out that the mystic secrets of imaging weren’t somehow rendered unknowable once we started storing pictures on pixels.

Film Photography Forces You To Be More Meticulous  So does placing limits on settings or shooting conditions on any camera you have. Hell, just shooting in manual is like going to grad school. Just slow down, take your gear off auto, and push yourself.

Developing Photos Can Be A Very Satisfying Experience  So can learning to fashion horseshoes or making your own sourdough bread. The unsatisfying part of processing your own shots is measured in costly materials, errors in developing, a messy house (or angry spouse, or both), and the occasional chemical burn.

Film Teaches You A Lot About Light And Color  As will any diligent amount of study with nearly any camera. Again, there is nothing exclusively instructional about the film process. The novelty and unpredictability of it can be charming, but only up to a point.

With Film You Never Know What’s In Store For You  Meanwhile, you do know that you will pay cash money for every rationed shot you take, good or bad, whereas, once you buy a digital camera, you’re basically shooting unlimited images for free.

Film Photography Can Be Turned Into An Artistic Pursuit  As can origami, music, poetry, or even making owl decorations out of jute and driftwood. So?

The Future Of Film Is Uncertain  Film is eventually going away, so you’d better shoot some quick, or else you’ll miss out on what all of your other your cool friends are already enjoying without you, because you’ve probably been whiling away your time going through bins in vinyl record stores.

Bottom line: you only need utter one sentence to explain why you shoot film.

Say it with me:

‘Cuz I wanna, that’s why.

Art needs no argument or alibi, merely desire. So make pictures in your own way, just without all the cute rationales. Because rationales and creativity are a bad mix.

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