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9 Benefits of Film Photography In 2024

In recent years, film photography has seen a huge resurgence, opening up the debate of film photography vs digital. (We'll leave that can of worms for another day!).

We might be slightly biased here, and whilst the digital age has brought about convenience and instant gratification, the tangible and meticulous nature of film photography offers a myriad of benefits that are hard to replicate with digital counterparts.

Here are 9 benefits of film photography that underline its enduring appeal.

9 Benefits of Film Photography

1. Intentionality and Mindfulness

Film photography fosters a more intentional approach to taking pictures. With a limited number of shots available per roll, every shot really does count.

Photographers are compelled to think carefully about composition, lighting, and the subject before pressing the shutter. This mindfulness in the process can lead to more thought-out and meaningful images.

2. Unique Aesthetic

Film has a distinct look that is difficult to replicate with digital sensors. The grain, colour rendition, and dynamic range of film contribute to images with a character and warmth that many find appealing.

Each type of film also has its unique properties, offering a variety of aesthetic choices.

If you've only just started using film, it's likely that you have already noticed how the grain on images looks so different to how smooth digital images look.

3. High Dynamic Range

Film possesses an incredible dynamic range, especially when it comes to capturing details in the highlights.

This allows for a greater level of detail in bright and dark areas, providing a natural look to the photographs that can be challenging to achieve with digital cameras.

4. Tactile Experience

The physical nature of film—loading it into the camera, advancing the roll, and eventually developing it—offers a tactile experience that digital photography lacks.

This hands-on process can enhance the personal connection to the craft and the final image.

5. Surprise and Anticipation

One of the joys of film photography is the anticipation of waiting to see the developed photos.

This delay introduces an element of surprise and excitement that is missing in the instant feedback loop of digital photography.

6. Durability of Medium

Negatives are incredibly durable and can last for decades or even centuries if stored properly.

Unlike digital files that can become corrupted or lost due to technological obsolescence, film offers a physical medium that stands the test of time.

7. Educational Value

Shooting with film can be an educational journey, teaching the basics of exposure, composition, and the physics of light.

This hands-on learning experience is invaluable for both beginners and seasoned photographers looking to refine their skills.

8. Cost-Effectiveness Over Time

While the initial investment in film and development can be high, film cameras themselves can be incredibly durable and last for decades without needing the upgrades and replacements often associated with digital technology.

9. Connection to History

Using film connects photographers to the history and tradition of photography. It provides a sense of continuity with the past, engaging with the medium as it was experienced by the pioneers of photography.

Despite the dominance of digital photography, film remains a beloved medium for many. Its benefits go beyond the aesthetic, touching on aspects of the photographic process that are both intangible and deeply felt.

Whether it’s the mindfulness it encourages, the unique look it provides, or the connection to the history of photography, film photography continues to offer a richly rewarding experience for those who choose to explore it.

Thinking of giving film photography a go and not sure where to start? Starting with a disposable camera is a great choice as you literally just have to point, shoot and go. Give it a try and see what you think!

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