My Return to Shooting Film

When I was a child and well into my adulthood, still photography was all done on film.  I quit shooting film cold turkey in 2001 when we got our first digital camera.  I liked the immediacy of seeing the picture as soon as I took it, and knew immediately whether or not it turned out okay.  You don’t get that with film.

As a child, and later a college student, I shot slide film and projected it.  First, because by projecting slides, you can see your images in whatever size you want, and second because even though the slide film was more expensive than film for prints, it was cheaper to process, which was important to me because as a boy (and later a college student), keeping costs down meant I could actually afford to have this as a hobby.

Fast forward to early 2011.  I had been shooting digital only for ten years.  Had never gotten the slide projector out in all that time.  I’d just purchased a scanner with the intent of digitizing all the pictures I’d shot years before, and was going through the slides in a drawer looking for the ones I’d taken on a trip to Yellowstone.

I need to back up for a sec.  My son is a big Penguins of Madagascar fan.  In one of the episodes, the penguins are having a slide show to prepare for a mission.  This was my son’s only exposure to slides up to this point.  I needed to tell you that so you will understand his reaction.  Returning to early 2011 now…

My son walks into my bedroom where I am looking for the slides of Yellowstone, and his eyes got as big as dinner plates.  He said “Whoa, Dad, what are these?”  I explained what they were and he said “Can we look at some?”  I promised that if the projector I had stored in the garage still worked, that we would look at some that night after it got dark.

The projector hadn’t been used in 12 years and guess what – it still worked!  My nephew was over that night and we had a slide show.  My nephew said they looked better than digital, and it got me thinking that I needed to have slides to project.  After doing some research, I discovered that the least expensive way to get slides was to simply shoot slide film rather than shoot digital and then put the files through a film recorder.  And that’s how I returned to shooting slide film and projecting the results, just like when I was a boy.


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