They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but in a modern world of increasingly powerful technology, this statement loses its meaning. With the revolutionary invention of digital cameras and smartphones with high-quality lenses, we can snap a hundred photos in seconds. With this, there is no authenticity in photography as we can pick and choose the perfect picture. However, real perfection in a photograph has flaws that are embraced, and are unique rather than selected from an assortment of near-identical images. For these reasons, modern devices will never capture the spontaneous and genuine ambiance of analog photography.
In a fast-paced world, analog photography teaches patience. Film is slow. It takes a long time to finish a roll, and after you have to wait to get it developed. The element of surprise in film brings a unique gratification that digital photography simply cannot supply. For a 35mm camera, one roll of film will typically hold 24 or 36 exposures. This is dramatically different from the 10,000 photos you can take on a 32gb memory card, meaning that you will view life from a different and more valuable perspective. This restriction contributes a whole new attitude to photography as you must approach each shot meticulously rather than shooting 100 photos that you’ll shuffle through later. This element of analog photography slows you down, providing a longed for satisfaction.
Film is fun! Loading a fresh roll of film is a rewarding experience that makes life feel a whole other sense of enjoyment. Starting a new roll brings the knowledge that it will capture soon-to-be memories and that in itself is poetic. There is something so special about going out with friends and leaving your camera lying around only to realize at the end of the night that the exposures have all been taken. The exhilarating feeling of waiting to see what surprises your friends have left you leaves you on the edge of your seat! This feeling is also present when you find a used roll of film from God knows how long ago. These impromptu moments are something you will never experience when shooting digital photography.
This medium teaches discipline and the idea that imperfections can be beautiful. After a roll of film gets developed, sometimes there are flaws in the pictures such as light leaks and overexposure. As upsetting as they can be, these blemishes are eventually embraced by the photographer rather than fussed about. This lesson of accepting things as they are can be applied to many areas of life other than film photography.
Film is unpredictable, making it so much more refreshing than photos taken on an iPhone or digital. The memories made in a film photo are much more special as it is one of a kind, it captures life as it really is with no duplicate images to choose from. The art of analog photography creates an experience for the user, unlike any other form of photography. Imperfections and all, digital photography does not stand a chance against the liveliness behind a film photo, which is worth way more than a thousand words.