Film is dead. At least for me.

Gosh, that title makes me sad. But not sad enough to continue shooting film. The simple truth is that film has become way too expensive, and given that I only shot it for personal photos, I can’t justify the cost any longer.

When it comes to my professional work, everything is digital. I shoot primarily commercial projects and a quick turnover (usually 48-72 hours) is required. It’s simply not possible to get film processed in that amount of time, even if I were inclined to take an analog approach. Gone are the days when I could simply take my rolls to a local professional lab and have it developed and printed within 48 hours.

For many years, however, I have enjoyed continuing to supplement with film to document my own life and family. I don’t necessarily think that film is better than digital or that it has more “soul” than digital (you can mimic film pretty accurately these days) but I have enjoyed the slower pace of it, and perhaps the nostalgia. After all, decades of my life are documented on film. It makes sense that it would conjure in me a sense of familiarity and comfort. That might be enough to sustain the cost for some photographers. I’m not one of them.

Unfortunately, film has also become a fad and with that increased demand has come a steep price increase, literally almost double what it was a decade ago. Not to mention that film isn’t manufactured in the same quantity it used to be so the supply is also down. I know there are many purists who will defend film down to their last breath, but to me, film is just another part of my gear kit – a tool to be used. I have more effective tools.

Earlier this year, I sold my last remaining film camera and just recently got back the scans of the final rolls of film (Kodak Tri-X 400) I shot with it. Goodbye, film. It was good while it lasted.

*That portrait of me in the giant hat was taken at the zoo by my daughter. She also took the portrait of my husband and I.

Published by Lea Hartman

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