Analogue photography can be addictive!
Co-worker Susanna Fischerauer, a child of the digital age, has fallen for traditional analogue photography. Here, she tells us about her experiences.
hen I was born, analogue photography had already passed its peak. I just turned 27. I first started doing photography with digital cameras. But when a friend gave me an analogue camera as a gift, a new era began for me. Since then, “back to the roots” has become my motto. I escaped the digital world and have come to love analogue photography.
Suddenly I held it in my hands, the dusty, strange plastic device with one single button and so many new noises. I open the flap and carefully insert my very first analogue film into the inner thread of the camera - and quickly close the flap again! The inner life of the camera fascinates me. There is a short rustling sound until the film has been threaded in and the number of free shots appears on the display. I did not know at the time that this nostalgic gift of a friend would be the beginning of a new passion. It feels a bit like a journey back to the roots, to the early beginnings of photography, which made me realise just how valuable this technology is. But the first argument that really convinced me was that analogue cameras are really cheap. You can get a lot of technology for very little money. You can find them for a couple of euros at the flea market, on ebay Classifieds, or you get them for free from your grandparents’ attic. Analogue cameras are the perfect festival or travel companion: if they break, at least the financial cost is low.
"The focus is exclusively on the capturing of the moment and not on how to optimize the subject in front of my camera."
We live in a fast paced world that is always one step ahead of us. Countless impressions bombard us before we are able to acknowledge and sort them accordingly. In addition, social media platforms such as instagram make it possible to shoot, edit, and share images in a single step. Analogue photography distances itself from this world, it breaks with the spirit of our time and invites us to slow down. The focus is exclusively on the capturing of the moment and not on how to optimize the subject in front of my camera. Unlike with cameras that have a digital preview, I can’t check and review the images. The images therefore seem more authentic - they are genuine and less estranged from the subject they display. Furthermore, photographic skills are a lot more important than in the case of digital cameras. Many technical settings that a digital camera applies automatically I have to discover and understand myself. All at once, I am confronted with the fact that the camera doesn’t dominate the subject, but the subject dominates the shot - I have to compensate with my eyes what the camera lacks in terms of editing options. That is why you have to take a lot more time to really take in your surroundings before you start taking photos. I can push the button down 36 times before the film roll transforms itself into unique images in the course of a two-week waiting period. The thrill of anticipation before I get to see the developed photographs is unbeatable. And I am always really surprised when I pick up the photos because I realise every single time that I can’t remember most of the photos. The shots tell a chronological story of the last couple of months that I get to relive for a second time. It comes in handy that once you scan the photos you can use more or less the same editing tools as in digital photography.
"For impromptu shots, city trips, concerts or when hanging out with friends I usually revert to analogue cameras."
Analogue cameras are a wonderful addition to my digital Canon 750d. For impromptu shots, city trips, concerts or when hanging out with friends I usually revert to analogue cameras. However, I am grateful to have my digital camera as a trusted companion for more elaborate shoots - especially when high resolution and qualitative post-editing are relevant, it is easier to work with digital images. My conclusion: analogue photography can get you addicted! I just can’t get enough of this surprise photo kick. Analogue cameras radiate charm, and the retro-feel of the prints can’t be replaced with any filter in the photographic universe!