DSLR On Hand

When I first started out as a film photographer, I was confident that I would never switch to a DSLR camera. I wanted my Instagram feed to solely feature film captures (and I still try my very best to post exclusively film photographs on the @timeilluminated account), but recently a few striking events happened altering my views on digital cameras which I would like to share with you. 

The first was when I went to Kleinburg, Ontario with my mother to grab coffee and shoot some film photographs. All around me there were picturesque houses, nostalgic scenery, old architecture and quirky signs - a film photographer's paradise. Too excited by the views, I was not keeping track of the number of frames I had left in the roll, and just as I was about to capture a yellow door of the Balzac's coffee shop - CLICK - I was out of film. At that time, all I had was my iPhone in my back pocket and so I had to betray my promise to myself (of not using digital cameras) and use the iPhone camera *gasp* because I had no other alternative in the moment.

The second incident happened when I went up to a cottage with my friend in Georgina, Ontario. This time, I had brought my Olympus OM-1 film camera as well as my Canon 20D DSLR, so that I was prepared for anything. Smart move. While extremely heavy and not convenient at all, the Canon was there when the Olympus ran out of film on a trail in northern Ontario, and while I will admit that I also had my Iphone, I did not need to use it thanks to my Canon.

After coming home from Georgina, I went to the photo lab to get my film developed but had to also bring the film camera because my film was not catching to the winding knob, thus I could not rewind the film. Dread had come over me. Did this mean that none of the photos turned out? Was I about to lose an entire $10.00+ roll of film? I began to plead to the almighty film Gods that this roll turn out... and thankfully it did, after waiting two weeks for them to figure out the problem. While I know NOW that the film photographs came out perfectly, I was worried that nothing was going to come out of that roll and that is a recurring film photographer's nightmare. What saved me from additional stress was that I had brought my DSLR, because I now have the photographs on my digital camera that I will just need to upload to my computer AS WELL AS the film photographs (score!).

Oh the complex things we film photographers deal with for the love of it! Scrolling through my Instagram feed, I used to scoff at the film photographers  who added "mostly film photos, some digital" or "some iPhone, mainly Nikon film"  in their bios. This used to make me question the authenticity of the film photograph accounts, but after these series of events where I was saved by the DSLR camera, I now understand and respect the honesty of these film photographers and their determination to carry more than one camera around everywhere they go just to be able to capture the perfect image. 

While the feature image of this blog post is a 35mm film photograph, here are a few DSLR photos that I captured on my journey.



1 comment

  • Well said. I feel similarly. I shoot film because present me enjoys the process, the challenge, and yes, the aesthetic of film and classic lenses. Future me, however, will just appreciate that past me captured the image.


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