SHOOT FILM Original Artwork by ANNETTE KIM

Everyone knows that digital is more convenient than film photography. But a lot of people don’t know that film is more relaxing, zen, and pure bliss.

1. Therapy of shooting film

SHOOT FILM ARTWEAR by ANNETTE KIM

One thing that a lot of people haven’t talked about is the therapeutic effects of shooting photography, especially film.

Man with red tape. Venice, 2013
Man with red tape. Venice, 2013

When I shoot film, I enjoy the process of making pictures more than (frantic) digital photography. Each film shot is more considered, calm, yet precise. I liken shooting film (on a mechanical film camera, like a Leica MP) akin to grinding your own coffee by hand (inconvenient, but zen-meditative, and calming).

I remember when I started to shoot a lot with the film Hasselblad. It was big, heavy, and a pain to lug around. But the upside: the calm relaxing feeling of shooting through the waist-finder, disappearing into the frame, and disappearing into the act of making the picture. I really think everyone should try to shoot with a film TLR (Rolleiflex, Ricohflex, Yaschicamat) or a Hasselblad/Bronica at least once. Not for the image quality…but the zen-like process of shooting with it.

2. Benefits of shooting film

a. Focus on the process of shooting

Cindy flexing. Wedding, 2016

With film, you’re less detached to the results of the pictures. You are focused on making each picture (because you cannot review the pictures you just shot on an LCD screen). Shooting film, you are forced to SLOW DOWN, and you’re not in a rush to quickly rush home, and upload and share your pictures to social media. You let your film sit and “marinate”— the last big batch of film I processed over 100+ rolls of film, after one year of waiting.

b. The benefit of film costing money

Woman with fur and crossed arms. London, 2015
Woman with fur and crossed arms. London, 2015

It is a GOOD THING that film costs money. Why? You end up with less crap to look through, I generally have a higher “hit rate” or “batting average” with film.

c. Film ages better, like a nice wine.

Also, my film pictures age better than my digital ones. I’m always screwing around with digital pictures, using different presets and processing styles, sometimes shooting RAW, other times JPEG (often shooting both). My digital pictures do NOT look consistent over the last 10 years.

With film, my pictures are consistent in the look and aesthetic, which makes the pictures more pleasant to look at, especially when shot over a long period of time, for a certain project. I love all the color Kodak Portra 400 film I’ve shot, for my SUITS project, ONLY IN AMERICA, and CINDY PROJECT CHROMA.

My monochrome black and white images shot on Kodak Tri-X are also blissful classic-looking to me.

3. Try out film and have fun!

Therefore, I encourage you to shoot film, for these reasons:

  1. Shooting film will calm, relax you. Like zen meditation of photography. Less anxious feelings about the results of the pictures, more enjoyment during the process of making pictures.
  2. More consistent aesthetic over long periods of time.
  3. Less stress of looking through (too many) digital pictures.

Ultimately I don’t think it is about ONLY shooting film. It’s shooting BOTH film and digital.

Maybe shoot personal family pictures on film, but shoot pictures of your food on your phone. Maybe do your professional work with your digital camera, and use film for personal work. Maybe keep your film work offline, or maybe share them. Make it personal, and make it for yourself.

Suits in front of currency exchange. London, 2014
Suits in front of currency exchange. London, 2014

So once again, it ain’t a battle of film vs digital. If you’ve never shot film, pick up an old film SLR, a disposable camera and a copy of FILM NOTES to get you started.

Like my friend Vishal from CameraFilmPhoto says,

Shoot film, enjoy the process.

HAVE FUN,
ERIC


SHOOT FILM ARTWEAR by ANNETTE KIM

SHOOT FILM ARTWEAR by ANNETTE KIM

SHOOT FILM ARTWEAR: Motivation for you to think less, SHOOT MORE!


FILM PHOTOGRAPHY 101

FILM NOTES by ERIC KIM x HAPTICPRESS

Take it back to the old-school: FILM NOTES by HAPTICPRESS x ERIC KIM.


FILM PHOTOGRAPHY by ERIC KIM

Contax T3 x FILM

If you’re interested in learning how to shoot film, start with this guide:

  1. FILM PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS by ERIC KIM
  2. Film Street Photography Manual
  3. Introduction to Shooting Film in Street Photography
  4. What I Learned Shooting 100 Rolls of Black and White Film
  5. What I Learned Processing 164 Rolls of Film After Waiting a Year
  6. My Experiences Shooting Medium-Format Film in Street Photography
  7. A Guide on How to Shoot Street Photography on a Film Leica (or Rangefinder)
  8. Why Digital Is Dead For Me In Street Photography
  9. Video: Why I’m Switching Back to Black and White Film for Street Photography

Videos: How to Shoot Film

ERIC KIM workshops red hand

Unleash your creative potential:

2020:

2021:

Be notified of when new workshops are live here.


ERIC KIM NEWSLETTER

Free Motivation for You >






ARS First Double Blind Photography Feedback Platform
Get Real Feedback on Your Photos >
Haptic industries bauhaus logo
HAPTIC INDUSTRIES

Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Photography Entrepreneurship

My brand-new Udemy Course, "Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Photography Entrepreneurship" now live! Seize your destiny >

Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Mastering Photography

eric kim ultimate beginners guide to mastering photography udemy Master photography >

Henri Neck Strap (MARK III)

THE OG STRAP >

#RICOHMAFIA

ERIC KIM wrist strap mark ii JUST SHOOT IT!

HENRI SHOULDER STRAP

Film Leica MP x Henri Shoulder Strap (CREMA BROWN) Supreme >

Street Photography Starter Kit

street photography starter kit by ERIC KIM Master street photography >

SUITS by KIM

suits by ERIC KIM Own a piece of street photography history >

HENRI WRIST STRAP PRO

Henri wrist strap pro For you >

Products