Film Photography, Morocco
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Marrakech 35mm: Why I Still Shoot Film

The anticipation of developing a roll of film. Feeling the shutter close with a mechanical snap and winding the stiff film forwards. Positioning your subject perfectly in the view-finder, because you know you won’t be taking the same photograph twice. These are a few reasons why I still shoot film.

Unlike in digital photography, film photography brings a certain awareness to the connection between the scene before you and your camera. The atoms of the leaves, the stone, the wood, the sky become tiny grains on a 2D interpretation. There is no way to see what the photograph looks like yet. There’s no playback button to check if the composition was askew or the highlights too flared. All you have is the image you see in your mind’s eye, an uncertain memory of the real photograph to come.

For this reason, film photography evidently demands a higher attention to detail. Whether it be the pressure of not wasting one of the 36 exposures or the mechanical cogs and dials of the aperture and shutter speed, a film camera commands a great deal of time for one photograph.

And the results can be beautiful. The richness of the colours, the softness of the grain, the intimate focus. An authentic record of the emotions and senses of one moment, never to be experienced exactly the same again.

Although the wait can be a long, expensive and sometimes painstaking process, holding a tangible print or negative in your hands is a real experience. It’s not just a jpeg file floating around your desktop, soon to be edited, deleted or forgotten. It is a manifestation of the sensations contained within that moment in time.

Here is half a film I shot whilst in Marrakech in April. The film brings the vibrant colours of the city to life, whilst the harsh sunlight burns through the negative, creating white spots in the shadows.

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