Sure, the iPhone in my pocket has a camera, a very good camera. It probably beats a large amount of the digital cameras that we paid 100s for 5 or 6 years ago. Its small, light, always on you wherever you go, and is always connected to the magical internet so you can post and share seconds after taking a shot of anything.
I do admit that I pull out my phone every now and then to snap a shot or a short story to post online when something Mezurashii happens.
I appreciate the technology that sits in my back pocket, the technology that connects my shot of a fat dog to your breakfast, her shot of a late bowl of ramen to his shot of the clouds from his airplane window – shared during his flight over satellite wi-fi.
It’s a luxury that we all are beginning to take for granted.
I also appreciate my other photo setup that I have on me at all times.
-A film camera (Most of the time a compact like a ContaxT2, PenEE3, L-CA+, or even an 写ルンです. A F3 when both me and my bag feel like it)
-Film (Usually iso 400 so I don’t have to worry too much about the light and weather)
The question that many people ask me is why I haul around a bulky camera that can only get 36 shots off a roll that in many cases, is useless after sundown.
I get their point.
-Any smartphone beats even the most compact 35mm cameras of the 80s and 90s when it comes to size and weight.
-Film costs money, and that means that every one of those 36 shots is costing me at least 40 cents for purchasing, developing, and scanning.
-Unless I have a decent flash on the camera itself or with me, indoor shots and nighttime shots are a risk. Some I take and some I give up on. (and use my iPhone)
So why do I go through all of the trouble?
Sure, of course, one of the reasons is that I genuinely like the look and feel of photos shot on film. There is that look that can’t be created with digital filters (but have inspired many!!) and every combination of camera, lens, film, and developing style creates a special look that can be found with every film photographer that maintains constancy when putting together their work for showing.
There is a huge online community scattered across Instagram, Twitter, Lomography, Tumblr, and WordPress of film shooters (I assume that you are one of them) and I enjoy looking at their work. I hope you feel the same.
However, the bigger reason that I shoot with 35mm film is that it gives me a new set of eyes.
A different point of view
Having a camera on me helps me focus on things that I would normally pass by without noticing.
-Some paint on a wall
-Objects on the street that are in perfect symmetry
-People just being people