by Melody Hall
Film finally made it’s comeback and is slowly on the rise. Kodak Ektachrome was brought back to life and I am patiently waiting to see what else is resuscitated. After peaking in 2003 with 960 million rolls, today it’s about 2% of that, according to Manny Almeida, president of Fuji-film’s imaging division for North America. But those numbers are rising every year.
Sales and Marketing director at Harman, Giles Branthwwaite, says that there is a 5% growth. That’s 5% each year, around the world. More and more photography aficionados are investing in analog photography. Is it because of popular culture or is it more calculated than that? Is it a generation of people, that are seeing a part of their own history diminished before their eyes.
The president of Kodak’s Alaris’ imaging states that the professional photographers are the ones stimulating the comeback of film. There are small pockets of Millennials and younger generations that are experiencing the charm of film.
I've always compared film to my record collection. There’s something authentic about playing records, every groove has it’s own clicks and pops… a little static. It all creates a feeling. Film does the same thing. It has a sound, winding and a mechanism inside that moves with each solid click. There is a color that is specific to a type of film. There is a depth that I cannot yet replicate with digital.
Is it the thought that getting back to your photographic roots somehow make you a better photographer?
I am sure it’s a little bit of it all, roots, current events, and subculture. For me, it’s a lot to getting back to my roots, how I first learned on film and in a darkroom. Something about the smells and the process that put me at ease and I am naturally patient for. It’s like coming full circle, one little journey in itself, representing where I am at on my creative path.
I am getting to re-experience what I had learned in the 90’s and get to play with cool new films, small batch films, color films, cinematic style films, toy cameras and other cool things being revisited and revived. So for me, there is really no debate. Just excited for the future of film.