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.
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.
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.