On Film

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Here’s a roll of black and white 35mm I shot while in Tahiti. So many times I feel the need to “get the shot.” With digital you can shoot everything and have the selects at your finger tips 2 minutes later and uploaded and emailed 10 minutes from that. Digital makes the photographer physically feel like he’s getting the shot, “Bro I just filled like an 8 gig card, I got the shots brah. 10 frames a second, yeahhh.” It’s important for me to step back from that, slow down and take my time.

I was slacking a bit on developing a few rolls I had sitting around but once I got the negatives back I really can’t explain the excitement (only a photographer knows the feeling). While shooting film your mind is tuned into a different place, your thoughts are whimsy but focused and your photos are imperfect. With a digital slr and a large memory card you can shoot something to death until you really nailed the moment you think best represents the scene. With film, well, you hunt and peck and almost press the shutter. And then youuu, almost press it again. Sometimes you will just downright let that moment pass. You find more raw scenes as a film shooter and once you see the negatives (not the back of the camera) you see the beauty in your candid shutter finger. Something just out of place, the falling lip a bit too behind your rider, an improperly exposed image. Everything that’s wrong are things of beauty and these are the moments that are real. Digital isn’t an accurate representation of reality, it’s perfect. The pixels are smooth, the colors are ripe. Life isn’t.

It may be kind of sacrilegious to shoot film and scan it for digital consumption but really shooting film is about finding a different space in our photographer brains. It’s inaccurate to say film is for hipsters and their lomo cameras, though I may agree with such prejudices tongue in cheek. Film is dying definitely and sometimes I wished I was working solely in the medium, however, I cannot shoot on film and pay the bills. I can do that with digital though. So you see it’s an interesting take on an art I’m still trying to understand.

On that note, I think maybe I’ll Instagram one of these. Yeah I just threw up in my mouth a little too.

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About Ryan Struck

I am a self-taught Brooklyn based photographer. Earning a BA in History allowed me to investigate the things that have occurred in the world of which I knew nothing about. In that same spirit, photography allows me to be curious about the world and what surrounds us. I enjoy saving poignant moments through a visual medium, documenting lifestyle often fulfills this need quite nicely. I love what I do. When not at home shooting I can be found traveling in search of surf and inspiring natural lighting. My desire to capture images that help viewers imagine the instant the shutter clicked fuels my passion to combine beautiful light, people and places.
This entry was posted in 35mm, Lifestyle, Photography, Portrait, Surf Photography and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to On Film

  1. I wish I were a better poet, able to suspend a moment for what it is with eloquence not bogged down in description- I suspect that’s something like what shooting film is for you (maybe?). Neat shots regardless! There’s something in the graininess of film that almost adds life or a sensory stimulus to the image in a way that the clarity of digital cannot.

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