Remember these?

That’s my Nikon FE. A film camera.

I shoot film every now and then.


Because it disciplines me and keep my skills sharp. When you shoot a roll of film you get no instant replay of the photo you’re taking. You also know you are spending a dollar every time you click. This means both that you have to get the pictures right and that you have to pay attention.

You end up taking 36 photos, not 360. And you will have carefully considered each one. You will spend perhaps a minute focusing carefully, composing carefully, and exposing carefully. No room for mistakes. You are, in other words, being a real photographer.

If the shoot is really important, I carry a little digital camera to try out my exposure settings every now and then. Just like in the past I would have used a Polaroid camera to try out the settings. There is no shame in that.

This is why I recommend everything should shoot fill up every now and then. Go buy a used, good condition film camera. This will cost you perhaps $150. Use C – 41 color film. This is the easiest to get developed. And then, scanned so you get digital files to edit, too.

Try it and feel the satisfaction that comes from having done a good job. Go on, give it a try. If you can shoot a roll of film flawlessly, you are a real photographer.

If you cannot do this, then at least turn off the review function on your digital camera. Pretend you’re digital SLR is in fact a film SLR, and do not look at the pictures until after the shoot. That way you will still grow the same set of skills.

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