January 2, 2013

On Film

alium, summer 2007 / 35mm

One of my resolutions for this year is to print more photographs. We have never taken more images than we have in the last couple of years, and never had less physical evidence of all these moments captured. Part of the problem is certainly being overwhelmed, how to choose when there are so many options (add a cute little kid to the mix and editing becomes even more agonizing!). I love my digital camera, and really love that I can snap away guilt free, until I find the single second where my toddler isn't a blur... but there's much about the simplicity of film that I want to hold on to. 

My uncle is a professional photographer. He turned 80 years old this summer and still is completely up to speed on digital technology and processing, it's such a treat to talk to him. His knowledge of cameras far exceeds anyone I know, and he is a complete digital convert. I look at his stunning pictures captured on film and swear there is no way digital could recreate that quality, but he says I'm wrong. 'Don't romanticize film, if it were better, then it would still be relevant". I believe him, but I just can't part with film. Both James and I are a couple of film-romantics and we will keep on keeping on. 

It's a given that I will favor my digital camera, this journal would come to a screeching halt if I had to wait for every roll of film to be processed, but I want to try to think more critically about what images I capture this year. I hope that efficiency up front will make printing a few special images now and then far less daunting, and I won't be faced with digital folders filled with hundreds of snapshots of a single afternoon. It always feels good to simplify, and I love the incentive of a new year to push these little goals.


  1. It's hard not to romanticize film. Some of my fondest memories of my early twenties are of days in the darkroom with my dearest friends and one whiff of photo chemistry can set my mind reeling with all of those memories. That part of the process is hard to replicate, but I do enjoy the ease of digital photography. At the same time I am often overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of images that come with a digital format and have to make it a point to have prints made. Scrolling through folder after folder of images on a screen just isn't the same as piling a book of albums on the rug and flipping through them while recalling the stories behind each photo. I look forward to seeing what you share as you simplify this year.

  2. Hi Lilly, Happy New Year to you! I loved your family Christmas portrait. I have been considering this very same photo/camera management question just today. I have decided this year to print more of the special photos and delete more of the not so special shots. I have hundreds on my hard drive too and it is overwhelming.

    I have started to put together printed albums for each of my children with just a few special photos from each year; milestones & birthdays etc. I enjoy the simplicity of these albums...just enough memories without being too overwhelming. I looked forward to reading more of your blogs and adventures in 2013. I love the photos in this blog too x

  3. Happy new year to you and your beautiful family! Your photos are always so well-taken and beautiful :))

  4. Cool pics, the first one is like a fairytale forest! :-)

  5. I struggle with this as well. Lately I have been deleting as many photos as I take, and it feels really good to simplify. I think this is a great resolution!

  6. I fell in love with film long ago, but when my dad bequeathed me his old Minolta 35mm it was like a huge brain fart. I love film but I have been gone from it far too long. Seems wrong to try to attack it again. Besides... the budget required for buying film and developing film is astronomical these days.

    1. Agreed, it's tougher all the time to justify the expense... but I still do use it every now and then. It's kind of like a fun decadent treat :)

  7. Pretty pictures! I had trouble giving up on film. I loved my Pentax K1000 with a passion. But, once I made the switch, I never went back. I also have never printed most of my digital photos. I find that extremely annoying. The prospect of doing them now is so daunting. I'm going to have to do a bit at a time, and organize them somehow, by trip, theme, year...I don't know.

  8. I have been itching to get my hands on more film recently - it really is so wonderful. I totally romanticize it but I can't help it.

    And yes, what to do with the 36 gazillion photos we have stored on our computer since the boys were born! Ahhhh!

    These images are stunning - the top one is incredible!


  9. Film is stunning, no question. But there is something undeniably satisfying as a parent with digital. Instantly finding the "right" photo out of a dozen duds makes capturing certain moments with your constantly moving little one that much easier. I'm very much with you on the organization end. Digital is easy, almost too easy, and then you're left with 30 pictures of your cat sleeping in some misc. folder!

  10. How can you not romanticize film? I totally agree, it holds some sort of magic you can't get with digital. I still have all my film cameras, and keep getting gifted hand me downs from family members, and they are fun to play with. I miss the darkroom process, too. In fact, when Brian and I got married we talked about our dream home containing a dark room. Ha! I still kind of want one... :) Your b&w here is fantastic. Just beautiful.

  11. Gorgeous photo set. I've been photographing my little ones using b&w film since this past summer. There's something so wondrous about the grain, the light... My post-processing in b&w taken with my dslr does not compare. I enjoyed reading your uncle's perspective. It's always good to think in more than one way - even though I wish I was more of a film genius. ;) Oh, and Happy New Year!