As a professional wedding photographer for 14 years, digital was always my jam. Put simply, digital is nearly perfect... maybe even hyper-perfect. With a digital image you can out a broader range of tones than film ever could. You can eliminate grain. You can fix the colour casts. And, if you make a mistake, you can correct your exposure and your clients will be none the wiser.
Film is not perfect. Images are created by chemistry, not pixels. Colour casts and grain is embedded in the engineering of the film itself.
So, why would anyone bother with film in this day and age?
For me, I fell in love with film because it has so many limitations. It requires me to think differently. It requires me to problem-solve differently. It requires me to pre-visualize differently.
Best of all, I have a delayed reward because I can't see the image instantly. I need to go to the lab, drop off the film, and get it developed and scanned. With all the instantaneous gratification we have at our disposal these days, this delay feels awesome.
I confess, when I first started shooting film, my images were HORRENDOUS. It had been a long time since I learned about film in photography school - and even then, the darkroom and all that stuff about the "zone system" was not easy for me.
But I pushed myself. And, with experimentation, I grew to understand the benefits of each film stock.
This year I started an abstract-a-day personal project on Instagram. It's a chance for me to experiment with techniques and with film stocks. And I was able to do this because Victoria has an abundant number of film resources for anyone who wants to give it a try.
And before I begin my recommendations, I want to say that no one has paid me to write this and I'm not sponsored by any of these businesses.
BEST FILM PHOTOGRAPHY RESOURCES IN YYJ
Camera Traders web link 110-560 Johnson St, Victoria
This place has so many film stocks you can't find anywhere else. And they sell film cameras and lenses, too. I kind of like that every time I go into the store there's always someone hanging out and chatting, talking shop and geeking out about analogue. The social side of this place kind of reminds me of a comic book store, in a good way.
Prism Photo Lab web link 791 Fort St, Victoria
This is my favourite place to get my film developed because they do it in-house and can often have it ready within two hours. The staff are super knowledgeable and can help along the way. They even have a darkroom for B&W. Plus, they have a super-duper awesome scanner. And they also sell an array of popular film stocks, t'boot!
Henry's Cameras web link 1005 Broad St, Victoria
Henry's recently took over Lens & Shutter's long-time location and they have a lot of stuff in stock or available to order (to the store or to your door). Here's where you can buy your negative holders, your darkroom supplies (if you do darkroom), film scanners, film paper -- you name it.
The Bokeh Cafe web link 1028 Blanshard St, Victoria
This is an awesome new cafe in town created for photographers to hang out and get inspired. They have space for workshops, and exhibits.
You can find me and my experimental film work at web link
You can find my professional work at web link
PHOTO CAPTION: This is a double exposure using Kodak T-MAX 3200 35mm B&W film. You can get this film stock at Camera Traders and you can get it developed at Prism Imaging.
Posted: Jun 21, 2019