A profile of Vic students who are avid film photographers

Photo | Hiba Siddiqui

Have you ever thought of going back to basics with your photography? Recently, more and more people are choosing to shoot with 35mm film. They’re doing this for several reasons; first and foremost, film photography allows you to hone your photography skills because it allows you to learn how to work with the essentials. I personally enjoy shooting film because I have to put a lot more thought into what I’m trying to capture within a limited number of shots. There’s also, notably, more dynamic range with film photography, including better colour and quality. I also love the grain and vintage feel of the finished result.

Once you’ve got the concepts of exposure, aperture, and ISO down, the rest comes naturally. Used film cameras can be bought at very low prices—sometimes even under $10—and it’s easy to find cheap rolls of film. Vic students are fortunate because VicXposure, our photography club, manages film camera rentals to students. So if you’re a Vic student, interested in trying film photography, VicXposure is the best place to start. You can even get your film developed at the newly-opened darkroom, located near the Cat’s Eye. Students can sign up for workshops on developing black-and-white film.

The Strand spoke with a couple of Vic’s student photographers to ask them why they enjoy shooting film.

Words and photo by Hana Nikčević

“I shoot film because I like the deliberation, the suspense of not being able to see the photos you’ve taken until you develop the film, and the developing/printing process itself. It’s nice having a tactile, involved experience that extends past the initial shooting. I also love the texture and colour of film photos, and trying out different films to see their different effects. I have two SLR cameras that I alternate between; a Pentax K1000 and a Minolta X-700. I recently ordered a multiple image filter and now I’m obsessed—90% of my photos look like they’re taken through a kaleidoscope by a deeply inebriated partygoer or a knockoff Petra Collins. Also, this is an open call for anyone that wants to teach me how to use a digital camera.”

Words and photo by Darren K. Cheng

“I began shooting film about a year ago after my best friend gave me a Minolta SR-T 202 (plus lenses, bless her soul) and it wasn’t until then that I realized how film photography really is as great as some people say (read: insist) it is—for the most part. What I love, and hate, most about it is how each and every shot is final. Every time you get ready to press the shutter release and feel the satisfying metallic click, you want to make it count. Shooting film makes you consider, reconsider, hesitate a moment, and then hold your breath before you commit to taking the shot… and you still have to finish the roll and then develop it to see how things went. It forces you to learn from your mistakes and take your time to think before shooting so that the money you pour into it doesn’t go down the drain. There’s something stressful but incredibly thrilling about it that I won’t be giving up any time soon.”