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Film is Not Dead

by Jo Yie Leong

Hasselblad, Rolleiflex, Leica, Pentax – are just some of the many camera brands that produce the iconic film cameras which play an important role in the way we capture our memories. Yet it seems that many of our generation have no idea who these brands are or what film photography is. Many take the term literally, confusing it for the process of shooting a movie. In fact, most people would have actually shot on film before as that is how pictures on disposable cameras are taken.

What film photography (also known as analog photography) actually is, however, is the taking of pictures using cameras fit with rolls of plastic film. Once shot, the rolls of film are developed in dark rooms where they are processed to become visible and insensitive to light. Today, there are scanners which allow processed film to be shown right on a computer screen in a matter of seconds. Developing film is also quite cheap, averaging around $6 in Singapore. There are even places where, with a small added cost, your film can be developed in half an hour.

Though analog photography may be considered to be something of the past, there are many young photographers who are bringing this “retro” style back to life. From simple disposable camera shots to people using the medium for their professional work, it feels as though film photography has always been alive. Just search through the “35mm” or “filmisnotdead” hashtag on Instagram, and you will be sure to find some incredibly talented photographers and some beautiful images.

Even if you have no interest in photography, everybody has experienced a time in which they wished a memory could take a physical form so they could forever keep it close to them. Film photos feel exactly like a tangible memory. There is something so nostalgic about the image grain and the way in which you capture the pictures that make it almost feels like Christmas when you are able to see them developed. It is such a beautiful thing to see the pictures weeks, months or even years after they were taken and immediately feel sent back in time to relive the moment.

In honor of analog photography coming back into the limelight, I decided to take a few photos as part of my small contribution to the movement so to speak. Below are just some of the images I have captured on my Canon EOS 300V which I inherited from a family friend. The pictures were shot on 35mm film, developed at a local photo store, and scanned by my parent’s old Canon scanner which I dug up from our store room. They were taken at my school on a cloudy Friday afternoon. Enjoy.

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