On the Practicalities of Film Photography

So, after a month of fighting with Dell and Windows 8 (more on that here) I’ve gone over to the other side; I am now a proud Mac user! Good bye, maintenance loan.

Spending so much time uninstalling/reinstalling drivers and generally trying to get the machine working got me thinking about my relationship with technology. Generally I’d say I’m pretty up to date, and as a chemistry student, I love a good gadget. Most of the stuff in my uni’s labs is pretty up to date (you should see our MRI machine!) but I did come across this gem the other month:

Super retro graphic printer in labs today #oldschool #retro

A post shared by Emily Doyle (@oldbort) on

It’s a pretty neat old graphic printer. Thing was though, the other students doing the experiment had a computer and a modern printer – despite it’s charm, my lab partner and I felt a little bit short changed having to manually wind the paper through.

So, I’m not saying that “nostalgia for nostalgia’s sake” is a good excuse for obsolete technology. However, I’m blogging today in defence of film photography; more specifically, disposable cameras.

I love my DSLR. It takes brilliant shots. But there are some places – gigs, house parties, etc – where I just don’t want to take it. Anyone who’s seen my instagram feed lately will probably have noticed the big smudge on my phone camera, so that’s no good if you want a half decent photo.That’s where disposables come in. I can leave on in the bottom of my handbag, drop it on the floor, spill stuff on it or whatever, and at the end of the day the worst I’ll lose is a few undeveloped photos. The only downside is they are a bit of a pain to get developed now. My local Boots does do it, but the staff behind the counter never seem to know what to do with the things when I take them in – plus it’s not cheap. For glossy prints from events when I otherwise wouldn’t be able to take photos though, I don’t mind paying. And, the ones that develop really nicely make it all worth it.

 

Stone Roses playing Finsbury Park in 2013 - not a great environment for my DSLR!

Stone Roses playing Finsbury Park in 2013 – not a great environment for my DSLR!

Good for shooting bears.

Good for shooting bears.

Valefest 2013 - Alcohol and expensive cameras aren't a good mix, either.

Valefest 2013 – Alcohol and expensive cameras aren’t a good mix, either.

ro drum

My long-suffering friend Rosie (@ro_drum on twitter) tolerating a film portrait.

More gig shots - this time Anamanaguchi in London

More gig shots – this time Anamanaguchi in London

Incidentally, the most flattering flash photography you've ever seen - as demonstrated by my charming Clockwork Orange costume.

Incidentally, the most flattering flash photography you’ve ever seen – as demonstrated by my charming Clockwork Orange costume.

More fancy dress from the same party - here's Bill (@RootFifthOctave) as Hunter S Thompson

More fancy dress from the same party – here’s Bill (@RootFifthOctave) as Hunter S Thompson

What do you think? Are disposable cameras still useful, or are they a waste of time? Let me know in the comments!

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3 comments

      • dehk

        I believe my film negative will outlast my digital files, there for once in a great while I will use disposable especially like to the beach, cross country skiing, give it to the kids for a field trip etc. They do a fine job really.

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