Black and White

Digital photography is great, but there is something I miss about old fashioned film. I am not one of those analogue evangelists that cries about how film looks so much more natural than digital, or how vinyl sounds so much better than CD – I love the digital world.

There are things I miss though. I never seem to make prints of my digital shots. Having a limited number of shots makes you think about each one more carefully. I also miss that sense of anticipation, from the moment of pressing the shutter, to the ultimate sense of disappointment when you get your prints back.

Of course, a combination of nostalgia and eBay is a dangerous mix, so I ended up with a couple of old cameras to play with which was fun. How to make it relevant though, rather than a more costly, less convenient way to get the same shots from my digital camera? Why, black and white of course!

So I have been shooting rolls of Ilford black and white film, the stuff that gets processed in the regular machines. It turns out I find it a lot of fun and it gives me something different that I get from my digital camera. Maybe not worth all the extra expense and hassle, but what the hell.

The only problem, is that these days there are not many places on the high street to get photos developed. Near me there is only Boots and Asda. It has to be said that although Asda are slightly cheaper (and are open longer) I don’t think I will go back there. Colour prints are OK (if a little lacklustre in my opinion) but the black and white ones are a bit crappy. Some of the shots have a nasty colour cast on them, which seems to vary from print to print – some green, some a kind of nasty sepia colour. Of course I can fix all that in photoshop, but if I have to sort photos digitally to get good prints, why bother with film in the first place?

So it looks like it will have to be the more expensive Boots from now on, unless I can find somewhere on the internet I can post my film off to. I have this feeling of impending financial doom however, that I am going to go and buy a load of stuff to start processing and printing my own film. Oh god, this is going to get so expensive.

There are more shots on my Flickr if you want to look.

Posted by Robbie on April 24, 2011