Newfoundland, Canada.
Newfoundland, Canada.

Something about a print. Something about the feeling of a photograph that isn’t just equatable to zeros and ones. Something about a negative. Something about the scanned in grain, dirt, and dust. Film is certainly annoying. It isn’t for the impatient. I’m impatient. Sometimes I hate it. Sometimes.

Other times, I find a negative. The process of going from the negative to a print really is something.

“More vignette..”

I remember thinking that with this photo. I remember the process of making it work. It’s a tangible experience. I haven’t any time for Lightroom. Ironically I feel like I haven’t got the patience for it.

The photo itself was taken near my hometown in Newfoundland. A small town. I can’t figure out if the spot in the distance is a bird or dust. I’m not sure it matters. I remember the rolling waves and the smell of the sea. Somehow, for me, film lends itself to such tangibility. This negative was there with me. This scene was exposed onto that 35mm strip and will be there forever.

I miss this place.

People often compliment me for being able to mimic film in digital. I’m happy I’m able to. I like the look of it. For me though, it’s never the same. It isn’t the same because the image I end up with never really was more than a figment of an alternative reality. It doesn’t feel real.

This is probably why I always end up back with a roll of film and an old camera. Whatever digital camera I buy ends up being replaced. It isn’t the same with film. I don’t feel the same way about it.

It really is more about the memory.

The tangibility.

February 2016.

Iksan, South Korea.


  1. What can I say? Exactly the way I feel about film too. It’s a chore, it’s messy, it’s time consuming and expensive…. but it gives me this strange feeling of being real. Just as those nice film cameras; they make me shoot better pictures than any digital camera.
    I owned quite a lot of digital cameras in the last 4 years, but they were sold on each and every one, as the results were simply not up to my (low) standards and the results I got from film. And anyways I always try to achieve a film look with digital files.
    Very nice, simple picture! I like it a lot.

  2. I agree on the tangibility, however, scanning film turns a negative into digital photo. In the end it becomes digital photography, with a file that will be printed digitally. You do keep the negative as a tangible backup but the print can be reproduced an infinite number of times. This is unlike using an enlarger and doing everything from start to finish in a darkroom. The only value I see in scanning negatives are the negatives themselves that serve as backup. Than again, if I print a digital photo, I also have a tangible object. So I would say that using film is only valuable if you do it in a complete analog workflow.

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