140209 Film - matthew piers robertson • photography writing creative toronto
Fujifilm GX680iii

Looking back over several years of my archives, I find that the film photos are disproportionately my favourites. I don't know if this is just sentimentality, or because they stand out from the digital images, but film has its charm. I hear 'film-like' and think of a certain 'roundness' to the whole thing that's less clipped and sharp than the digital usual, along with a tolerance (or outright embracing) of flaws and quirks.

Nikon F5, two frames scanned together

I don't know if this is true, but I've often heard that the invention of photography freed/forced painters to expand and explore non-representational art. For me digital photography has freed film from the need to be perfect, allowing it to be a physical thing with its own presence and influence on the result. Dust and scratches don't bother me the way a digital sensor speck does, and even scanning errors create results that I like.

Nikon F5, Ilford XP2

I suppose that embracing imperfection and happenstance is not too different from what digital filters do. Similarly, I shouldn't like a photo more simply for it being shot on film, and I shouldn't dislike a photo for using something that the camera-makers call a 'creative mode'.

Should and shouldn't, perhaps, but still do.

Powered by SmugMug Log In