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How To Shoot Film Photography

Manual SLR's are making a comeback and it's​ for a good reason.

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With analog photography increasing in popularity, you might be asking yourself, "Why film?" To put it simply, shooting film photography highlights the true essence of photography. When shooting digitally, you can set your camera to automatic and fire away taking hundreds of pictures to sift through later. With film, you're limited to 24 or 36 shots and you have to make them good.

Finding Your Camera

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Since the peak of film photography in the late 80s, the manufacture of commercially available film cameras has come to a stop. With that being said, it is still relatively easy to find fully functional film cameras in camera stores, on eBay, or your local thrift store.

For your first purchase, I recommend heading to a camera store or a seller who can guarantee the functionality of the camera.

The make and model of the camera won't be significant. Avoid going after popular cameras (Canon AE-1 Program, Pentax K1000, etc.) as their popularity has driven up their prices over time. Any fully manual 35mm camera will suit any basic needs, however, an SLR will tend to be less expensive than a rangefinder (they have minor differences in the way they operate).

Finding a Film

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The film you choose plays a huge role in how your pictures will turn out. Whether you choose color or black and white, the film stock that you choose can drastically impact the look of your photos.

 The next decision to make is what speed of film (determined by the amount of light) you want to shoot with. For more help on choosing a film speed, stay tuned for a more in-depth post about how to properly expose a film photograph. 

Even with those two specifications, there are still dozens of choices to choose from. Each film stock has a slightly different look and provides a different feel to your photographs. Depending on what you're going for, you'll want to experiment with different films until you find your own Holy Grail.

Get shooting!

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As with everything, practice makes perfect. Shoot everything you can even if it seems boring. Don't be afraid to get out there and shoot roll after roll. 

One of the best aspects of shooting film photography is the element of surprise. You can't see your images until they've been developed and the anticipation is half of the fun. Even if your pictures don't come out exactly the way you intended, with film photography, the beauty is in the imperfections.

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How To Shoot Film Photography
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