This past May Long Weekend, I decided to break out the old FM2 and shoot a roll of Black & White film. It’s interesting that while the overall theory is the same as shooting with our usual digital cameras, the complete process is so much different, and so much more labor intensive. I could hardly wait to finish the roll and develop it to see my photos, (I did miss the instant feedback that digital provides) but at the same time I wanted to slow down, take my time, and make sure every shot counted. I started developing my own film last year after a local lab damaged a roll of film I dropped off, so at least I didn’t have to wait weeks to see what I shot. The tradeoffs between film and digital are very interesting; on one hand, digital now surpasses film in sheer quality (400ASA 135 film captures about the same amount of detail as an 8 or 10 megapixel 35mm (full-frame) digital camera. On the other hand, film has an enourmous amount of flexibility in exposure and developing, many many times more than digital, that makes it harder to completely screw up a shot. Digital technology allows us to create high-quality, grain-free images in just about any lighting situation while B&W film has a beautiful, soft, organic-looking grain that is difficult to replicate with digital.
Film photography is fast becoming a forgotten art form, and older film cameras, like our classic Nikon FM2 are becoming hard to find, expensive collector’s items. We hope to keep the art alive a little longer at least, and maybe even incorporate film capture into some of our future wedding, portrait, and engagement photography.
Anyway, enough chatter. Here are some of my favorite shots from May Long Weekend during a hike through the Camp Morton hiking/ski trails at Camp Morton Park in Gimli, Manitoba. I hope you enjoy them!