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  • Writer's pictureMichael Vongthanusone

Why shooting film rekindled my passion for photography

If you were born in the early 2000s or older you might have seen photos taken with a film camera in your family album. My parents had a point-and-shoot camera that they brought along with them everywhere. I still remember going with them to the photo lab to have the films developed, scanned, and printed before we could see the photos! Then came the digital age, and the old film camera that was once invaluable soon fell victim to my destructive younger self.

Fast forward to 2009 when my mom bought a DSLR (Nikon D90). She wanted to study photography as a hobby. I played around with it, then somewhere along the way I just...took over. I learnt all the basics with that camera, and I still use it to this day.

In 2016 I fell into a rut. I had just moved to Melbourne for Uni and everything felt distant and empty. I ended up not taking any photos for the entire year. Around Christmas break I came across an article about film photography, and the photos in that article brought back so many memories. The colors, the imperfections, the nostalgia. This piqued my interest in film photography, and soon after I bought myself a film camera.

The camera I got was a Canonet QL17. It's a classic rangefinder and one of the best selling fixed lens rangefinder ever made. Although there's a light meter and an auto exposure mode, the camera is also capable of going fully manual without needing any batteries. I absolutely LOVE this. It really took me back to the bare minimum. It was just me, the camera, and the subject.

It was around that same time that I decided to stop taking pictures for likes. I felt a sense of freedom in creating art for myself, and just went out and shoot. The fact that I couldn't instantly review the photos forced me to slow down and think about every shot. It changed my perspective on photography and the way I shoot.

I found myself falling in love with photography again.

I have compiled some of my favorite photos taken with film here. Hope you enjoy them!

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