Film

FILM page photo002

I shoot film.  There, I said it.  It’s like doing some shoplifting at Macys and then finally admitting to it.  All of my personal photography is now shot on Kodak film, sent out to develop, and then scanned with my dedicated film scanner.  And I absolutely love the process!

“So, why film?” many people ask.  It is a very personal decision.  When I first started out, it was with film.  I used film for years, I learned on film, film was who I was.  Then we all switched to digital, and that was fun for a bit.  But after a while I found digital feeling monotonous.  It was too clean, too exact, too one-dimensional.  Digital lacked a personality that I saw in film.  Digital is too easy.  Crazy, huh?  Think about it – a career photographer who started out with film, transitioned to digital, and then switched back to film!

Flash back to October of 2011 – I couldn’t even tell you why, but at the time I had a bug in my brain for the one camera that I had always wanted, but could never get back in the day – a Nikon F4s 35mm SLR.  I might dare call it my all-time dream camera.  I can vivdly recall wrapping up a Portrait Session with Tara and Jason up in Weehawkin one Sunday morning, and heading home by way of Princeton to check out a used camera shop that might have my F4s.  I had to dig up on a top shelf, but I found one, and in near mint condition – boxed and all.  I made one more stop on the way home to buy AA’s and a roll of Kodak film.  I loaded that one roll of film into my new F4, pressed the shutter, and the rest, as they say, is history.  Film was back for me!

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For me, there is a joy in dropping that little canister of film into the camera and then pulling the leader across to the take-up spool.  Flip the back shut, press the shutter release and hear those couple little clicks and whirls as the camera winds the film to the first frame.  You now have 36 shots, make them count – frame them – meter them – think about those shots.  I find that I love the feel, after pressing the release, of the film snapping to the next frame.  I find that when I shoot film I slow down a little to take in more of what I’m doing.  I find that when I shoot film I feel more connected to the camera.  I find that when I shoot film, every photo is intentionally taken and is a keeper.

I love the texture of film photos.  I love the tones of Black & White film.  I love the subtlety of film photos and the soft colors.  Each frame is unique in its grain structure.  Each frame has personality.

In the time since the F4s arrived, my Hassleblad has been taken out of retirement, as well as my Nikon F100, both of which I bought back in 2001.  A Nikon F5 joined the arsenal in 2012, and just recently my Nikon F6 (the last pro-grade SLR still in production) arrived in time for a trip out West, marking the first time in more than a decade that I took rolls of film on vacation.  Once again, my fridge’s crisper drawer is full of film.  My newest fine art piece on my wall at home was shot on film.  To quote Jonathan Canlas, a big-time film shooter, “Film Is Not Dead!”

I’m so glad I went back to film.

▼Nikon F6  –  Kodak Ektar FILM – Nikkor 35-70mm f/2.8
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▼Nikon F6  –  Fuji Velvia 100 FILM  –  Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8
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▼Nikon F6  –  Kodak Ektar FILM  –  Nikkor 60mm f/2.8
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▼Nikon F6  –  Fuji Velvia 50 FILM  –  Nikkor 35mm f/2
christopher_huston_photo_FILM_MT_Glacier_E6_2013
▼Nikon F100  –  Fuji Velvia 100 FILM  –  Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8
christopher_huston_photo_FILM_FL_Atlantis_E6_2012
▼Nikon F100  –  Kodak BW400cn FILM  –  Nikkor 60mm f/2.8
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▼Nikon F6  –  Kodak Ektar FILM  –  Nikkor 60mm f/2.8
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