Film Photography Tips - B&C Camera

Back in the day, film photography had one significant advantage over digital photography: the technology made it possible to capture far superior image quality. That's no longer the case, as digital images now have a resolution that exceeds 45.4 megapixels!


So why have sales of analog cameras and film products increased in the past five years? We discovered the answer to this question and gathered suggestions for those who want to jump into the analog photography movement right away.



You could be already utilizing a digital camera. Unfortunately, the built-in and semi-professional digital cameras in our smartphones deliver little comprehension of how photography works. They're all about maximizing what they 'see,' so they just set the proper exposure and focus and leave it at that.


In the case of a traditional camera, the picture quality is entirely up to you. And the good news is that once you've mastered getting excellent shots with a film camera, producing masterpieces with a digital camera will be simple! So let's get this party started.


Start with 35mm

The most common type of film is 35mm (or 135). If you start with it, you have a wide range of cameras to choose from. This implies that you may pick the sort of camera that appears to be the most fascinating for you and purchase one at a reasonable price. It would help if you did not encounter any difficulty in obtaining or developing film. Another significant advantage: medium and large format films let you take far less than 16 photographs, while 35mm allows for up to 36! More bang for your buck isn't terrible when you're first starting. 


The Exposure Triangle Still Applies

According to seasoned photographers, if you blindly follow this rule, you will suffocate your creativity. However, we feel that before breaking any golden rules of photography, you must first master them. The exposure triangle rule is a fundamental guideline in film photography that allows you to avoid hundreds of wasted shots. 


Manually controlled film cameras were first on the scene. The photographer adjusts the camera's ISO (known as film ASA), aperture (f/stops), and shutter speed. And these three variables are interconnected. You must combine your scene illumination and film stock's exposure potential (film stock is rated) and work to set up your analog camera correctly. You'll need a higher ISO, slower shutter speed, and larger aperture if you want a lighter frame.


We wrote an entire article about this and you can read it here: The 3 Most Important Camera Settings


Hone Your Instincts About Manual Focus

Some analog cameras have autofocus, but they are significantly slower than digital cameras regarding focusing. As a result, moving objects are frequently blurry in photos, or the shutter closes too late, leaving the subject outside your view.


It takes time, confidence, and a steady hand to master manual focus. As a result, using an analog camera is an excellent opportunity to develop your professional abilities. Begin with stationary things like buildings and plants and people sitting or standing still. Then move on to dynamic subjects for added excitement.


Avoid Adding Flash and Begin with Black & White

You may also modify your images later in the post-production stage to make them black and white. However, if you aim to learn how to use light and shadow, we recommend beginning with classic black and white photography.


Black-and-white photography may be more complex than color photography. Because we are not used to seeing the world in black and white, it's tough for us to picture how a specific location might appear without colors and hues.


When it comes to black and white film, we have to think about things like contrast, forms, shapes, textures, and frame composition. In other words, black and white photography helps us develop our creative vision. A great place to get the ball rolling. 


Think About the Golden Ratio, Leading Lines, and Your Framing

The balance of your piece is what attracts the audience to it. Use time-tested composition principles you've learned from digital photography to produce fantastic analog photos right out of the gate:


Golden Ratio

Keep track of the balance in your frame. Your composition will always appear beautiful if the focal subject is aligned or positioned at the intersections of the 3:3 grid lines. We go into much more detail about the "Rule of Thirds" or the Golden Ratio in other blogs & vlogs. 



Use anything on hand to frame the primary elements in your image. For example, a coastal view may be captured from a window, a forest clearing seen through a tree crown, or a picture of your pals taken through a keyhole.


The lines that lead

What if you applied some geometry to your picture? You may use well-shaped surrounding objects to make your photo appear more beautiful. Accentuate the depth of the scenario. For example, you are adding a road shooting up to the horizon or cutting your shot in half with a light ray.

Related article: Photography Composition Techniques


Get Well-versed in Photo Techniques That Can't be Replicated Digitally

 Push & Pull Photography

This technique is fantastic for creating unique halftones and depths with black-and-white film. The concept is that you ignore the ISO of your film and underexpose of the frame. Then, to compensate for this, you underdevelop the picture. You may also overexpose a photo and then underexpose it. Now we're getting creative. 


Using Expired Film

You may get excellent deals on expired film stocks. The excitement is that you won't know what your pictures will look like until you develop them. Your photographs may contain futuristic hues or unusual (and therefore fascinating) visual faults, depending on how old the film was and how it was kept.


Double Exposure

It would help if you combined several frames with taking a picture with double (or multiple) exposures. You may achieve the identical result using modern cameras and image editing software. However, analog photography is the only way to apply numerous exposure in many inventive ways. For example, you can shoot two consecutive frames with your camera moving quickly. Another option is to use a slow shutter speed and shoot brightly lit objects against a dark backdrop.



Film photography is excellent for honing your professional skills and developing new creative techniques. Film cameras, unlike most digital cameras, are half or fully manual, allowing you to learn by doing and discovering unexpected discoveries related to the art form of photography. 


Another benefit of film photography is that you value each shot more after shooting with an analog camera. Analog photography also develops useful talents such as spatial and artistic vision, creativity, and patience. All of this will help you better master your favorite digital camera and then create a portfolio that is more genuine and appealing to viewers.


Related article: Best Film for Canon AE-1

Related article: How to Develop Film

Related article: Film Photography Project Review

Related article: Everything Looks Better in Black & White – Tips for Better B&W Photography 

Related article: What is Value in Photography


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