B&W Film

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12/20/18

Film is so beautiful and nostalgic.

I picked up a small love for film a few years ago. I’d been sitting in Econ lecture, looking at art and photography, not paying attention, as usual, when I stumbled upon a photographer. I forget the photographer’s name, but immediately fell in love with their work. A year after developing an appreciation (read: obsession) for film, I took a black and white film class. We took pictures in black and white. We processed images in the basement darkroom. We shot with rented Canon cameras.

That semester, I photographed strange strangers, unusual artwork, puppies, store fronts, adults on small trains, humans wearing felt panda heads. I realized: there is so much whimsicalness in the world. So much strangeness and beauty. I began to shift my perception, seeing my surroundings in blacks and whites, hues and gradients, shadow and light.

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In the dark room, we removed the film from the tube in a tiny, cramped, pitch black room. With washes and chemicals and timers, we processed the small rolls of copper-colored film until they were ready to hang and dry. We brought the dried film into the darkroom, where we each had our own space to magnify the film images, invert them, and light-print onto a piece of light-sensitive paper. Afterwards, we doused the paper film in another long process of chemicals and washes before the sheet was finally ready to dry.

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Processing film by hand was tedious, but fun. Afterwards, I returned the rented camera, but still wanted a film camera of my own. In 2017, I found my parents’ old film camera while cleaning out the house. I ordered color film, processing chemicals, and containers. Since then, I’ve been photographing and developing my film – in my closet, kitchen, living room – and sharing them here, in my Film category. Nowadays, film is one of the many mediums I use to capture my surroundings, but there’s a nostalgic bent to it. When I look at other’s images taken on Canon Snappy’s online, they look like the photographs my parents took decades ago, when film was all they had.


12 thoughts on “B&W Film

  1. Interesting we went from black and white to colour to black and white again. There is something to be said for black and white. It is clear exact and can be cold and harsh but it is also interesting. Loved your photos btw. Beautiful.

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    1. 🙂 Thanks for the kind words! Haha, it’s fun switching from one color format to another. BW can be a jarring switch from color. Do you prefer shooting one over another?

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      1. Unfortunately, I’m nearly blind now, so I can’t but when I could, I enjoyed both very much. Each made it’s own statement! And great fun to compare 🙂

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  2. I absolutely love black and white photos. I think the atmosphere of the shot is so unique.. I wish I was able to take a photo that would look interesting in black and white, but for some reason it never works out 😀 Your photos look beautiful though. 🙂

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  3. Ah, I cannot tell you how in love I am with the last two photos!! The one before last especially took my breath away the moment I saw it. So incredibly beautiful, ethereal. The last one looks like it belongs on an album cover ❤ It makes me really glad to have discovered your blog ^^

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  4. i resonate so deeply with your content. black and white images are so profound. stripping away the redundancy called colours, leaving behind just the essence of the object- the expression, the feeling, and the mood.

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    1. oh! thank you so much for this comment 🙂 i do love black and white as well. there’s just something about it… you put it so beautifully! thank you for the read

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