My Love for Analog Photography

August 08, 2017

Everybody who knows me - even just a little - knows I'm secretly a hipster. Not the kind that supports local shops only, but the kind that has a nostalgic feel towards anything "old". I own two typewriters, which I use on a regularly basis, and I love to go on a vintage shopping spree or two. More recently, I've got the hang of using analog camera's when taking pictures, something that started after taking disposable camera's with me on holiday.

Analog cameras tend to give the photo a bit of a blurry, fisheye-like look. Note the green effect on the right due to sunlight hitting the camera.
We live in an era where we can film and photograph anything within a matter of mere seconds. And that's a huge plus when it comes to things like crime, but also moments you'd like to remember (baby's first steps, for example). Yet I d feel quite a lot of people tend to forget that real life can be lived without being on your phone 24/7. There have been massive campaigns on the use of mobile phones on vacations, as a huge percentage of especially young adults take pictures to show off to friends on social media like Instagram and Snapchat, instead of living in the moment.

To be fair, I'm guilty as charged as well. I love taking pics of gigs I went to, or groups of friends, to show others what I've been up to. But mostly I consider these photos a way of documenting what was happening at the moment.

Enter analog cameras.

With a digital camera or mobile phone, I've noticed that I take way too many pictures of the same thing. Six pictures of that cute cat on the road, a dozen of the group of friends I'm hanging out with, a couple more of that peculiar looking cloud in the sky (a view I'll probably never see again, neither in real life nor on my phone, as I'll forget it immediately); it's just a massive overload. With an analog camera, I've only got about 25 pictures I can take on one film. And that's more than enough!

I love how analog cameras give photos kind of a seventies feel to it. The slight discolouration is something I'm completely drawn to.
Every time I pick up an analog camera, I'm vividly aware of the fact that I can only take a couple of pictures. And even when I take these pictures, I don't know whether they'll show up on film or not. So everytime I'm about to take a picture, I make the decision whether the view is really worth taking a picture of. I become more conscious of taking pictures, if it were.

Furthermore, I never know how pictures will turn out. Because there are no digital steps in developing the pictures, nothing can be adjusted when printing them. Imagine taking pictures, not knowing whether they worked out on film or not, having to wait a week to head to a store to get them developed and printed, and then wait another week when the pictures are processed. It's like a small, postponed souvenir of the places you've visited. It becomes some sort of magical moment when you finally receive the photos and are able to see them. And if they did turn out great, it's even possible you'll be dancing around in happiness. At least, that's what I did last time.

The picture got "cut off" on the right due to the film stopping there. Some might say it's "ruined", but I love the imperfection of this picture.
In a world where flaws are being photoshopped, even when it comes to scenery photography, it's a relief to see things in the pictures that aren't what you expected it to be. Blurry spots, half pictures (the film was full) of a restaurant, weird green light dots in a corner and a colourful finish are things that aren't very rare in pictures that got developed the "old school" way. And I believe it's one of its many charms.

Sure, it might be a bit more expensive, but pretty manageble. My camera didn't cost me a dime (it's an oldie my mum gave me), films are about €4 each in The Netherlands, and developing and printing is around €9 per film. Or in short: I can get more than 25 photo's for €13, which brings it down to just under €0,50 a pic.

Of course the one doesn't rule out the other; I still take pictures with my mobile phone when it's dark (using flash is possible, but doesn't bring out the best in de pics) or I'm somewhere I'm sure I can't keep my camera still. But I appreciate taking pictures the "old fashioned way" more and more.


  • Share:

You Might Also Like