The Character of Film

Ready Dog: Maia warming up in the back of the Subaru for a winter hike. Leica M6. Kodak BW400CN, scanned by North Coast Photo Services. No post processing! Photo by Ryan Jordan.

OK, I’m not going retro, nor will I reminisce about the good old days when public officials were still Good Men as a rule, and terrorists were kids who blew up mailboxes.

But I do plan to shoot more film this year.

There is something rather magical about the beauty of something exposed to Fuji Velvia 50 or, in the case above, Kodak BW400CN. Velvia is probably my favorite color film for outdoor photography, and BW400CN is my choice for low light portraiture.

I still hang on to my two film cameras: a Contax T3, now a decade old and still capable of blowing away anything I can weasel out of my modern digital compacts (including my current favorite, a Panasonic GF1), and of course, my trusty Leica M6, still going strong in its 21st year.

Of course, I have a few new cameras that I’ll be using throughout the early part of 2009, including the GF1 and the Leica X1, but after feeling the pain of trying to post process even really good digital images from mid-sized and larger sensor cameras for some print projects I worked on this fall, I can’t help but think that there is still a place for the beauty – and character – of film in my own photography.