Analog in Algonquin: My journey from digital to film photography

We set out early. It was 5am and we headed North to meet our friends before we entered the park. About 4 hours later we finally dipped our paddles into the water and journeyed into the wilderness. It was a nice feeling, breaking out of our routines and disconnecting from our digital lives. Setting out to capture this adventure on film, a medium I don’t have a lot of experience with. 

I was quite pleased with the experience, even though I felt anxious after each shot knowing that it cost me money each time I released the shutter. I became more selective with my shots, I would look through the viewfinder and compose a shot without exposing a single frame knowing that it wasn’t worth the cost of the processing fees. Shooting film is expensive and I know it’s probably not for everyone, but I think there are some valuable things learned from shooting film. 

In my very limited experience I’ve noticed that it forces you to get it right in camera. I meter much more often now and understand light much better because of it, with film I just don’t have the dynamic range that I am used to with my D810. Another observation is that cropping in camera is much more important. I get my photos processed and scanned by a photo lab and that leaves me without the luxury of cropping and rotating images after they’re shot. To me, the advantages of shooting film is in it’s limitations, it’s slows me down and really makes me contemplate each shot and double check my settings. It’s the practice of good practice. 

Mr. Two: A journey back to 1985

A series of photographs of a Toyota MR2 and its owner.

We met up at 5:30am so we could catch the morning light and take some photographs of Steve’s new (to him) car. Our plan was to beat the morning rush and take some urban shots before the downtown area became too littered with pedestrians and morning traffic. 

The project was an exercise in capturing not just a car but the era and in which that car had lived, 1985. Showcasing it in a way that would make someone want to experience the thrill of a small two-seater, mid-engine car. It’s a story of a man and his machine.

Using Format