Catch It On Film

In the age of smartphones and high def cameras, teens and young adults are starting to gravitate to more tangible modes of photography. There is something magical about taking a picture and not knowing what it will look like right away, or knowing that you only have one shot at getting the perfect image. I remember taking pictures on a disposable camera that I got from CVS or taking pictures on a point and shoot, but most of my photo memories come from taking pictures on my phone. I didn't live through the era of film or polaroid cameras. I grew up with computers and smart phones and up until recently,  I didn't see the importance of having a physical picture that you can touch. 

About two years ago I became interested in taking pictures on film. Luckily, my dad had an old Canon AE-1 film camera from the '70s tightly packed away. I cleaned it off, sent it out for a small repair and bought some film. My first couple of rolls were pretty bad. Everything was either too dark or too light and nothing was in focus. I found a used flash attachment on Amazon and looked up a couple film camera tutorials on YouTube. With practice and perseverance I got better and better. I took my camera everywhere and loved capturing memories on something other than my phone. 

I find so much pleasure and excitement in picking up my pictures after they've been developed. I never know how they're going to turn out and the mysteriousness of it makes the entire process something that I want to do over and over again. I always forget what's on my rolls of film so getting the pictures back is almost like rediscovering pictures on your camera roll that you completely forgot about. Whether the pictures are award worthy or not, the memories are what matter. Having a limited amount of opportunities to take the perfect picture, makes each image much more special. 

We have relied on technology to capture and save our memories for a long time. We have an unlimited amount of opportunities to get the perfect shot (unless you run out of storage) and can take an absurd amount of photos at once. Concerts are easier to record, blowing out birthday candles is easier to capture and immortalizing important events like graduations and promotions are simple. We have gotten used to abundance. We have an unlimited supply of phones, computers, clothes, furniture, you name it. I think our society, especially the younger generation, is searching for something that is less abundant. Something that can't be easily replaced or taken again. That's what film cameras are. You have 36 chances to sum up the day, get the right shot or create the perfect memory. Having to work for your memories, through changing the exposure or lens, makes the outcome much more enjoyable. 

Memories will still be made on phones through Snapchat and filtered pictures. Smart phones will continue to advance and we will continue to buy them, because who doesn't want portrait mode on their phones? Our society will continue to grow with technology, but I think we will always bring a bit of the past along with us. 

Our memories are precious and irreplaceable. Keep capturing your best moments and maybe try catching them on film. 

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Taylor WeissComment