Analogue photography is a rather distant idea in this modern world. Digitalisation has long taken over our lives and we have become accustomed to digital photography because it allows us to shoot multiple shots at one time and re-capture moments in case we are dissatisfied with the outcome. However, analogue photography veils a hidden beauty that travellers should uncover during their trips! Here are five reasons why you should leave your digital camera and memory card at home and see the world through the lens of a film camera.
1. Slow pace
If there’s one thing that I absolutely love about film camera is the fact that it slows me down, physically and creatively. Travelling is about discovering distinctive charms of a place – learning local culture, tasting local food and witnessing indigenous beauty but many of us are guilty of being too obsessed in capturing these moments instead of admiring the view, making us too busy snapping away in the hope that out of the 100 photos taken, one will be good enough to represent the beauty (and help to increase the number of likes on our narcissistic post on social media).
However, with a film camera, you have to stop and admire the beauty in order to visualise it into an image, and then capturing it. Of course, you can take more than one but when you have only 36 shots in a roll, you would want to save it. Thus, unlike its digital counterpart, you become more mindful and trust that you have taken “the” shot.
2. Easy organisation
Film camera also saves time and effort. Often the thought of having to go through every single photo from your one-week holiday can get pretty overwhelming because it requires time and effort to select and edit them. Instead of rummaging through hundreds (or thousands) of photos after the end of your travel, film is organised in 24 or 36 photos in a roll so if you have around 5 rolls, do the math!
3. Stress-free travel
Analog SLRs are battery-less! To me, this is a major plus point when it comes to travelling because we do not have to worry about waking up in the morning, ready for a new adventure only to realise that we forgot to charge the camera the night before (speaking from experience!). However, point and shoot cameras use disposable batteries but you still won’t have to worry about finding a plug point and carrying chargers!
4. Delayed gratification
Like I said previously, film is slow and you’ll only get to see the photos days or weeks after you get them developed. However, the appeal of film is it extends your holiday by leaving you still feeling excited even when you have long boarded the flight back home because it’s not completely over until you get back your rolls of film. There were no opportunities to look back at the photos once we’ve taken them so sometimes, we might even forget we took it. Once we get our freshly developed photos, it’s as if we are transported back to that moment in time!
5. The gorgeous outcome of the photos
The best thing about shooting film is the outcome of the photos. Nothing beats the feeling of seeing the gorgeous photos you’ve taken: the vivid colours, amazing resolution and its overall aesthetic. To fellow novices like me, Kodak Ultramax 400 is probably our best shot at achieving beautiful photos due to its versatility to capture crisp images at any situation, making it a perfect travel companion. Though there might be a chance that the photos do not turn out the way you want it to be, the uncertainty is what makes it thrilling – film is exciting, so take the risk!
TIP: Play around with a film camera before embarking on your trip – try shooting around your area of interests using a point and shoot camera such as Olympus MJU or analogue SLR, Canon AE-1. Then, get it developed at photo labs like Darkroom8 (https://www.facebook.com/Darkroom8/) in Kuala Lumpur or Color Dot Com (https://www.facebook.com/ColorDotCom/) in Selangor!