We are super excited to announce that (after redirecting countless clients before) we are officially (finally!) stocking film. Think grainy black and white, subdued colour, and warm and unpredictable light leaks thanks to Lomography.

A photograph of Ilford Film

Lately, film photography has been trending – partly because of hipster subculture, but mainly because of the group of people who still remain loyal to film and its history.

I had a chat with Outdoorphoto team members who continue to love film to find out why, in the world of digital, they still appreciate this “old” art form.

Celeste van der Merwe

Celeste enjoys film photography because it forces her to master the art of thinking before you shoot. “I first embraced film photography as part of my photography course at Vega and spent hours in the dark room playing with, and learning new techniques.” When shooting with her analogue camera, her style leans toward street photography, but when switching to her Fuji X-T20 she loves capturing special moments with her daughter. She says that sometimes, developing film was more enjoyable than shooting, probably because the development process is part of the character of film photography. It is quite exhilarating to see your images come slowly into existence.

Lappies Labuschagne

Lappies was first introduced to film photography in 2012 when studying at Vega and fell in love with Lomography, and black and white photographs. When you study people’s work, you start realising that film photography can bring out a different side of you as photographer and if you compare Lappies’ digital and film work, it’s as if looking at two different people. Just like Celeste, he enjoys developing film – “no Photoshop, just developing skills” and gets excited by the uncertainty of how the photo might turn out.

Street photography using analog camera
Photograph of railway taken using a film camera

Graham van der Merwe

If you know Graham then you will agree that he LOVES lenses. He has a list of must-haves and will not rest until he’s ticked off every single one. But, he also loves film. What he enjoys most about film photography is that it’s like turning around your pennies before buying a candy bar – you must really think about the shot before taking it. He often ponders, “Is this shot really worth it?”, and if it is, taking the shot is that much more special. He enjoys the journalistic approach to film photography and loves shooting in the moment. Unlike Celeste and Lappies, Graham has no interest in developing his own film as there are enough experts to do it for him.

A beautifully coloured film photograph of Margate Beach in Kwazulu Natal

JK Zorgman

When JK started out with photography in 2007, he believed that the best way to learn was by means of film photography. His reasoning behind this was that you really has to focus on getting everything right before taking the shot. While colour is nice, JK says that colour sometimes distracts your attention from the subject, which is why he prefers shooting in black and white. When shooting with his DSLR camera, he’ll photograph just about anything from glamour and portraiture to documentary and landscape images. But with his treasured analogue camera in hand, he naturally focuses on capturing a particular moment in time to make it last forever. JK loves the texture of film and the overall look and feel of film. He really enjoys that moment when you cock the shutter back slowly before getting ready to take that next winning shot. Although he has never developed his own film, he is considering it as you can buy great darkroom kits without breaking the bank.

Film Photography taken by Jk Zorgman of two women walking in the rain in Karstadt
Photography taken by JK Zorgman in Germany of two girls talking in the rain

Wouda Mc Micken

I’ve always loved old articles/things… Whether it’s old photographs, jewelry, furniture or music. For some reason there is just something special and almost mysterious about anything created before I was born. So, when I inherited an old film camera, it was only obvious that I’d find a deep appreciation for this form of art. What I like the most about film is holding something in my hands that can tell a thousand stories.

Film Photography is Not Dead

It’s safe to say that many photographers enjoy the challenge of thinking before pressing the shutter button and waiting for the results – this is what makes film photography so precious. And knowing that film photography means so much to so many different people is really fulfilling… no wonder so many young people are embracing this meaningful art form in a world that has become obsessed with having things at the drop of a hat.