Film is not dead. In our modern age, the notion of packing analog camera for your next big trip might seem silly. I mean, with iPhones and DSLR cameras – why would you even consider packing a vintage camera?
I tend to make the bold statement that film is on its way back into our modern lives for one reason. Slow, intentional, mindful practices are becoming more and more adopted into our daily lives. With the rise of handcrafted, artisanal brands, independent artists, self-made musicians, indie creators, slow travel, mindfulness, meditation and more – we as a society seem to be embracing intentionality in 2018.
Now where does film come in? Easy. The process of documentation on an analog camera is unlike its fast-paced, click-happy cousins. As opposed to snappy smartphones and DSLRS, each and every frame on an analogue camera is precious. Understanding the art of capturing light, acknowledging special moments and taking the extra second to direct the scene – it’s a practice in intentionality.
Here’s how an analog camera has changed how I travel.
Analog Helps Me Live Slow
Film cameras, especially those that require the photographer to set up all elements of the photo, require an extra minute from a travelers’ expedition. It’s true. Sometimes when the perfect scene unfolds in front of me, I have to follow through on many steps to ensure that the photo I create doesn’t fall apart. From exposure to focus to everything in between, every detail matters in analog photography. In our fast paced world, we forget how mindful practices in step by step creation can be soothing and worthwhile. Analog helps me live slow. It gives me the extra minute in the hustle and bustle of adventure to breath, to acknowledge beauty and to relish in the intentional steps of documentation. It’s a beautiful thing.
Perhaps the hidden gem of analogue cameras is seeing a scene in the lens. A magical moment happens when our eyes gaze through it. Film has taught my eye to observe the world around me like an artist. I start to create vignettes in my imagination as I’m out exploring. I start to view the world through a perspective of a creator, instead of a passerby. Suddenly, everything seems poetic and dripping with romance and detail. Analog cameras have allowed me to tap into gratitude for the everyday loveliness that constantly surrounds us.
The Joy Of Print (… And The Wait!)
We’re spoiled by instantaneous results in 2018. In milliseconds of pressing the shutter, we’re able to see our pictures come to life. I tend to think the joy of anticipation has been lost on our generation because of this. But! With analog cameras, the waiting game comes back to life. After I take a shot, the moment is lost – just a figment of my imagination – until I get to relive it again when the photo is in my hand. The wait is so worth it, in my opinion.
In our digital age, I miss having tangible prints to hang on my wall. Having printed photos to show friends and family after a long trip away is so special. I like to imagine stowing away these goodies for my future grandchildren to see one day. There’s just something so nostalgic and special about printed photos and being able to hold them in your own two hands.
For anyone who happens to have an analog camera readily available, I urge you to take a week or two to learn the ins and outs of film. Once you feel comfortable, pack your camera with you on your next trip. Find yourself immersed in the art of documentation – the old way, the slow way, the mindful way. Thank me later.