“There is only you and your camera. The limitations in your photography are in yourself, for what we see is what we are.”― Ernst Haas
Once upon a time, when photo magazine had travel budgets and could afford to send Contributing Writers, like myself, to the photokina show in Germany, I was sitting in the press room at one of the last film-based trade shows talking with Joe Meehan and several other photo magazine editors when he asked, “How many cameras do you own?”
One (now) former Shutterbug editor said it was somewhere around two hundred. I did some mental calculations and came up with 25, although that might have been a little low. When digital imaging became more popular, I decided to pare down the number of film cameras I owned but kept a Hasselblad XPan Leica M6 TTL, Zeiss Ikon SW and the gold-trimmed Seagull TLR Mary gave me as a birthday gift many years ago. (I almost forgot my Minolta Prod 20.) Oh, was that ever a dumb idea. To this day, I regret selling my Contax rangefinder cameras and SLRs. Dumb, dumb dumber. And while the prices were low when I sold them, the growing popularity of film make them unaffordable for me to be able to purchase them again. (sigh.)
I’ve been writing about film photography in my annual trends column in the December issue of Shutterbug for so long that the current editor told me, I almost had him convinced. According to Kodak, sales of their professional film grew more than five percent between 2013 and 2015. Sales of Fuji’s Instax cameras have risen steadily since 2013 and are expected to hit five million units in 2017. Demographics are on film’s side: Ilford Photo, confirmed this trend last year after a survey found 30 percent of film users were under 35 years old and 60 percent had only started using film in the last five years.
So what about you? Thinking about going back to or start shooting film? My plans are to shoot more film in 2018, including capturing all of next year’s Cars and Coffee events with the film cameras I have left. Let me know what your film plans are for next year. Click the Contact tab above and let me know.
PS. I love me some divas, including Celine Dion and when I saw this black and white cover of her album The Essential Celine Dion with her film-based Hasselblad. It just made me love her more.