Lately: Experimenting with Film Photography

I've been going through creative dry spells--similar to a writer's block, but with photography. Like Wesley, New York doesn't inspire me like it used to, and the photos I do take are disappointing. But instead of mixing it up with a rangefinder like his Fujifilm X100s, I switched from DSLR to old-school film. A family friend gifted me with a Nikon FG, along with a standard 50 mm lens, from the 80s a couple of years ago. It was in great condition, but I never bothered learning how to load the film, so the camera sat in my room gathering dust.

After watching a Youtube tutorial, I finally felt motivated enough to give film a try. Anything to get me out of this funk!

A month into my new hobby, I'm finding that the limitations of this medium are surprisingly forcing me to be more creative and think about the framing and settings of a shot. With only 24 exposures per roll, there's definitely pressure to not waste a single shutter. Not being able to see a photo after taking it is also thrilling. The anticipation is a complete change of pace from the instant gratification we expect from shooting digitally.

With my need to make every shot count, it took me two weeks to just finish a roll. When I picked up the developed film earlier today, it was a relief just knowing that they weren't all out of focus or under/overexposed. In fact, my favorite shots, below, of our day walking the newest section of the High Line and grabbing a drink at The Frying Pan, turned out surprisingly well. Shout out to the amazing service at Luster Photo & Digital in the East Village for making it happen!