In a time when iPhones are used for almost every Facebook or Instagram post, it is surprising that the world of film photography has made a come-back. Students have become especially fond of using methods to make their pictures come to lifeapps through apps like Huji to create a vintage-style filter or actually loading a film into a camera.
Teenagers today are greatly influenced by the 80s and 90s in terms of fashion, music, and now with their choice to opt for film photography. The process is much more involved than clicking a button on an iPhone. Aperture, shutter speed, and composition are just a few things that must be considered before pressing the shutter on the camera.
In the Photo 1 class taught by Margaret Hodge, students learn about the basics of photography and even how to develop their own negatives. They also learn about contrast, composition, and lighting and how each of these things affect their pictures.
The class makes students more aware of the pictures they are taking and shows how precise the art of photography truly is. From creating their own pinhole cameras to learning how to enlarge negatives, the Photo 1 class is designed to introduce students to film photography and the basics of making a picture.
In the class, Hodge does a variety of activities for students to learn, such as taking them outside to practice or researching other photographers. Students quickly learn how to develop their own negatives and enlarge their own photographs in the school’s dark room, too. The class is a hands-on experience that shows students how to truly make their own photos. By the end of the semester, students are able to roll their own film, take photos, develop pictures by themselves, and realize its difficulty.
Hodge said, “It is so important the precise process of film photography since it is so popular among younger generations.” Many of the new skills learned in the Photo 1 class are reasons why people are so excited about film photography.
Film photography is much more permanent, as you must wait for the pictures to be developed and see if they came out the way you hoped when you were originally taking them. “You only have a certain number of photos on a roll, so you have to make them count,” junior Loretta Fuentes said. Fuentes prefers the coloring and quality of her Pentax K 1000 to her iPhone and has used multiple types of film cameras to see what she likes best.
If settings on a manual camera sound too complicated, you can always use a disposable camera which just has a button for flash, shutter release, and a dial to advance the film. This option is more convenient for people who are not familiar with camera settings but still want to get started with film.
Junior Sebastian Consoli loves taking disposable cameras with him when he is hanging out with friends. “I think disposables capture the moment better and make it less posed,” he said.
Something about film gives photographs a candidness that makes them seem more lifelike and less staged. The grainy filter, vivid colors, and precise process are all what make each photo taken on film much more special. Trends come and go, but film photography will not go away any time soon due to the nostalgia it reinforces.