Why I use film

I use film for several reasons. Firstly I like the quality of the colour. And I like to have the true original of the thing I’ve created. I also like old cameras and the way they work. But the most significant reason is that shooting with film forces me to consider each shot in a way that using a digital camera doesn’t. With digital the temptation is always there to take a lot of pictures in order to make a result more likely. Photography is cheapened in this way. I used to use a digital camera but shooting with film has changed my approach. I think about each shot as I take it and, later, the way it relates to others in the sequence that is the roll of film. And I remember the act of photographing while the film is being developed and then compare that memory with the result. This is a form of meditation that affects everything I do. Digital photography doesn’t have the same relationship to memory. The ability to see the digital photo at once makes the picture replace the memory. But the wait to see the image once it’s developed can mean disappointment too and with film your failures don’t go away. This is how it should be though, this is how life is. Life isn’t a digital arrangement where bad things can be immediately deleted and forgotten. And looking at the shot as soon as you’ve taken it, and re-taking it if necessary, interrupts the meditative experience of walking about and observing the world and immersing yourself in it. To fully have that experience and to edit as you go is impossible.