As Bob Dylan once sang, “The times, they are a changin.’” With the advent of digital photography and smart phone cameras, it’s a wonder whether or not our youngest generation even knows of film’s existence. Remember the rolls of film you’d have to take to the pharmacy or lab to get developed? Then wait a day or so to pick up the prints? That’s so 1995. But, like any trend, film’s “fashion” seems to be cyclical. Just like the skinny ties and Bob Dylan’s Wayfarer sunglasses, film photography is back in. Even the desire for that gritty film look has seen a recent increase. Given the popularity of Instagram’s “old school” color options, it seems photographers still have that nostalgia for film and Polaroids.
“Thanks to some hip, quirky companies like Lomography and the Impossible Project, which are resurrecting this seemingly archaic art for enthusiastic hobbyists. These companies and their customers tend to embrace the imperfections of film, rejecting the cold precision of digital photos. It instills a kind of patience that has all but disappeared as we surround ourselves with real-time technology. And when the prints show up, there can be wild variations in color and the sort of unpredictability that turns a photo into something that seems like a unique piece of art.” - Jenna Wortham, New York Times
“Lomography is more than just a shop – It’s a vibrant, bustling community committed to analogue photography and lifestyle.” The international camera company has made film photography fun and quirky with its experimental accessories and consumer accessibility. The Impossible Project allows instant photography. Yes, they’ve essentially reinvented the classic Polaroid camera with their own inks and accessories. It’s almost as if digital photography is so easy and cheap, we lose the appreciation for the art of photography. There’s no need to be selective when you can snap 100 pictures in a few minutes, while discarding the bad shots with the simple click of a button. With film there is a sense of quality over quantity. While digital has made an impact on the world of photography, artists, hobbyists, and photography school students are still hanging on to its roots.
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