This year’s analogue favourites

Reading. Nikon F100 on Kodak Tri-X 400

I love shooting film.

I love the entire process.

It makes me slow down.

Being acutely aware of the value of each shot makes me frame each shot carefully. I need to consider all the factors that may influence the exposure and the composition. If it doesn’t look right through the viewfinder, I step away and reframe. When I am certain that the image in the viewfinder is what I want, I press the shutter release.

That mechanical clunk. It’s a sound you hear and a movement you feel through your trigger finger. Digital just doesn’t have that.

I can’t instantly review the shot. And that’s a good thing. An exposed roll of film is like a wrapped Christmas present under the tree. The anticipation of what might be inside is exciting. Are the shots I’ve recorded on the acetate what I envisioned? Did I correctly expose the frames. Do the shots tell the story I wanted to tell?

The chemistry of the development steps now involves another sense not typically employed in the photographic process: smell. The acidic, vinegary scent of rapid fixer takes me right back to my days working at a repro house. The smell also tells me that in about six minutes of agitating the film in one minute intervals I’ll be able to hold the exposed and processed film safely up to the light to see the frames for the first time.

These are the shots that excited me the very first time I saw them as a negative image on the film strip in 2016.