Tag Archives: Film Photography

Another Reason for Film Photography

When I was a kid, I remember the first time I experienced using an Apple II. Yes, I died of dysentery several times, and knew how to make fun geometric graphics with Logo. Most of my teen years were spent typing in programs from magazines, calling bulletin boards at 300 baud and cracking games. From an early age, I knew I wanted a career that had something to do with computers. I still own a Commodore 64 with every imaginable peripheral, accessory, and game.

I think about how many screens I look at each day: computer, phone, tablet, television. I have a screen built into the dash of my car. Occasionally, I still play games on my Nintendo DS and PSP. Over the last 4 years, I’ve come to dislike the amount of time I spend in front of a computer screen. This is one reason I think it’s critical for digital photographers, myself included, to get the shot right the first time, in camera. Why spend all that extra time in Photoshop if you don’t have to? When I was president of the local camera club, I’d often pose the question to members, “Are you a good photographer, or a good Photo-shopper?” I know a lot of people that, on the surface, are good photographers, but are slightly better at Photoshop. Now, don’t get me wrong. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with using a digital tool to get the image that you envisioned. I believe that pixels are meant to be punished. And any person who pays me to capture their photo, deserves my time to make sure they look their best.

One more reason for film photography: it requires minimal amount of time in front of a computer screen. After I develop my film, I scan it, and removed a few dust specs. That’s all. I spend far less time in front of my computer when I shoot film. Using the same philosophy of getting the image right the first time, only with the scanner, I use an anti-static brush and handle negatives with gloves. I spend minimal amount of time at the computer fixing scanned negatives.

I doubt my future grandchildren will say, “Grandpa, you must have spent hours in front of the computer to create this photo.” I would rather spend my time capturing images of the people and places I love than sitting in front of computer. Is anybody really going to care how much time I spent at a computer to fix a photo? No. If I can shoot film, enjoy the process of developing and scanning, and spend time on the other things that matter, that’s what I’m going to do.


The Negative Positives Podcast

You can hear yours truly on the latest episode of the Negative Positives Film Photography Podcast hosted by Mike Gutterman and Andre Domingues. You can listen on Podbeam, or search for it on your favorite podcatcher.

 


Who Are You? Why Film? Why Now?

This is one of those moments where you attempt to accomplish something, but you have so much that you want to do, you don’t know where to start. Let me begin with who I am and what direction I want for Utah Film Photography. I’m Shaun Nelson, a photographer from South Ogden, Utah, USA. I originally took up photography 14 years ago when my oldest son was born. I consider myself part of the new generation of photographers in the way that I started shooting digital. It’s all I’ve known until the last year. Prior to digital, I had no experience or desire to shoot film. In October 2013, Jacob Nuttall from Acme Camera Company was demonstrating an old Polaroid Land Camera 250 at a Studio o2o Creative Exchange. I was honestly shocked at the beauty and contrast of the black and white images coming out of the vintage camera. Two weeks later, I bought my first Land Camera. In December, my wife gave me an old Canon A1 for Christmas. From that point forward, I’ve been buying vintage cameras and shooting film for fun. Since January 2014, I’ve collected over 25 film cameras. At times it’s made my wife very nervous that I’ve immersed myself into something so quickly. My feeling about my camera collection is simple: I won’t buy a camera that I can’t put film in and use. Museum pieces are nice, just like classic cars and comic books, but I want to take them out and enjoy them. Along with collecting the cameras, I’ve found a lot of satisfaction researching them and learning about them. There are so many fantastic stories behind companies, specific camera models, and the people who made them. In many ways, it’s a new culture of creativity that’s been opened to me. And I want everyone that loves photography, film or digital, to feel the same. That’s why I’ve created this site.

Shaun Nelson – March 2014
Self-portrait inspired by Kenneth Linge and Uncle Fester.

This site isn’t about film versus digital. It’s not about who won the photography war, megapixels or silver halide. It’s about preserving what is becoming a fading art. It’s about sharing, inspiring, and having fun. The desires I have for this site can be found on the About page. This site will feature articles written by myself and special guests. If you visit Utah Film Photography and see something that you’ve known for years, or though experience, and recognize information needs to be added or corrected, I ask that you be patient with those who are just starting their own understanding of film photography. I invite you to share your own thoughts here, on Facebook and Twitter. This site will not be a negative experience for the content creators, casual readers, and participants.

Why start another site about film photography? Let me attempt to explain with a lame analogy. Remember the first time you heard your favorite band or singer? Do you remember wanting to share a specific song with your friends or family? It’s an exciting moment. As time passes we don’t typically wake up one day and stop liking that band or specific style of music. We might enjoy other types of music, add new genres to our collection, but that favorite band continues to stay with us, year-after-year, decade-after-decade. Even when that band has broken up, some members have passed away or entered rehab for the 10th time, we love that one particular song or album. If you know me on a personal level, you might think I’ve engaged in an expensive, eccentric, or trendy hobby. That’s not true. With this site, I want to share my own experience and discoveries with film photography. Talking about film photography and vintage cameras is exciting to me. Just like the excitement I had when I came upon my favorite band and music, I wanted to share it. That’s how I feel about photography.