Why I enjoy film and meaningful photography

May 03, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

Today I photographed simple images at home with the new (to me) Voitglander Bessa.  I get a special delight out of using this old piece of mechanical machinery that someone, probably no longer living, used 70+ years ago.  It is all manual, clunky, unforgiving, with none of the sophistication and amazing image quality of modern digital camera.  It requires the photographer to pay attention as it only captures 8 images per roll of film, the film needs to be positioned from one frame to the next manually and precisely, the focus is through a tiny viewfinder by making two overlapping images overlap completely in a tiny window.  I will not go on.  It's old and difficult and beautiful.  And what I like the most about it is that it makes each photograph into a discovery - the camera doesn't gratify you with the instant feedback of the image on an LCD - it keeps it dark and unknown until the magic of developing the film brings the latent images to life.  It's all a bit alchemy and a bit mysterious.  It forces me to work slowly, with full attention and devotion, and it creates this feeling of expectation that doesn't let go until the film is finally out of the developing tank.  It's a truly enjoyable process with very imperfect results.   See a few of the images from today here below.

 

Voitglander Bessa RF camera for home images during the coronavirus crisis Voitglander Bessa RF camera for home images during the coronavirus crisis Voitglander Bessa RF camera for home images during the coronavirus crisis Voitglander Bessa RF camera for home images during the coronavirus crisis

And there is another observation I'd like to make.  I enjoy making pictures that are meaningful to me - of people, places and situations I enjoy and can relate to.  I have never been much into macro photography, birds,  infrared and other branches of photography that do not directly connect with my soul and my interests.  And the older I get the more I photograph for my own pleasure. 


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