Film is photography and photography is film; in so many ways this is a self evident truth. Yes, It is drawing with light of a three dimensional subject as two dimensional image on a light sensitive medium. However, with film you use the light to burn the image directly into the medium itself.

Film is physical, tangible. You can pick it up and hold it in your hands. You can hold your images up to the light and see them. You can print them and re-print them time and again. You can similarly scan them and re-scan them time and again. Film is real, it exists in the real world. Your images made with it have visible presence.

Film is also about a physical operation that keeps us tangibly in touch with a physical photographic medium all the way through the photographic process. It makes things real. it's all about haptics - manipulating things with our sense of touch.


From buying film, storing it carefully away till it is needed, selecting some for a day out, loading it into the camera, making pictures on each frame, winding it on after each shot, then rewinding it after the final picture is taken and finally unloading the camera. It's a tactile process all the way through.


Then there is sending it off for development, the wait and anticipation of its return, then getting back the negatives plus contact prints and scans for review and examination, then finally recalling & reliving the moment when each photo was made. Once again it's the continuation of this very enjoyable and tactile experience.

Film photography is a considered way of working, in tune with the world, in touch with the medium of photography at each an every stage. Essentially the end results are tangible too, as your photographs are held on negatives that you can hold in your hands and can keep fo ever.


Real photography, as illustrated in this case with colour negative film, comes complete with tonality, texture, high dynamic range, detail, contrast, colour gradation, clarity, sharpness, vibrancy, wide exposure latitude and beautiful fine grain, all built directly into this wonderful, magical medium itself. 


In conclusion film is all about the photographic process, emotional connection to the tangible and visible longevity of the outcome. There is something deeply satisfying about handling it and above all using it to make pictures is enormous fun.


Long live film!