Testing analogue photography around Milan
It was thoughtful, solemn and very difficult to switch to analogue photography. Obviously it was a great joy experimenting with a medium I last used when I was a teenager light years ago when my interest in photography was present yet quite sluggish.
I have already told the story of the Agfa camera I used and became enamoured with here so these are the photos I took with that very first film roll and some miscellaneous thoughts around the process
Generally speaking shooting analogue felt opposite than going digital (I know, I know, groundbreaking), naturally I expected that but I hadn’t imagine such a level of difference. There were some actions I had to learn and to remember, such as to operate the winding wheel before taking any photograph, leading the way to two scenarios: 1) should I forgot to “prepare” the winding wheel I “loose” the right street photography moment 2) should I “prepare” the winding wheel in advance, chances were that I accidentally push the super sensitive shutter button, wasting away one precious photo.
I learned and get used to that, I got (quite) skilled in being fast to prepare the camera and to do my best to predict how a certain photographic scene was to unfold beneath my very eyes. Difficult, but challenging. Demanding (more times than not I failed), but stimulating.
Composition is the other crucial element with a tremendously different approach film-wise vs digital. Because in digital you can click click click one thousand times, while moving along around the subject in search of the perfect angle. It’s not a problem since digital photos are “free”. On film you know you have a limited number of pictures you can take and this forces you to be much more aware of composition, subject, light, depth of field and all elements included in the image you are framing. Not to mention how expensive shooting analogue is these days…
And speaking about this, when I was telling my mum about my excitement for getting back to film, she reminded me something I completely forgot: back in the days when digital didin’t exist or it wasn’t even an option due to its sky-high costs, whenever you brought a film to be developed you were given one FOR FREE. Now that I have been reminded of this amazing habit I am sure I lived a different life in a parallel universe…how is it that now a basic film roll costs not less than 7 euros?
I am amazed that this film produced something because it was 20 something years old, perfectly-bad kept (on a shelf, it has never seen a fridge), plus it was ISO 100 and I mistakenly set the camera ISO at 400, so the man who developed it had to manipulate the light a little bit – hence the thick grain.
At the moment, I only have shot this film plus another black and white one during my stay in Venice one month ago. I loved the extra care necessary to create the photos, it taught me a valuable lesson in problem solving, composition, time management and reactivity.