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Appreciating Time-Tested Tradition – 5 Reasons Why We Still Shoot It Old School

Canon AE-1, FD 50mm f/1.8 by Antonin Cosset

The first (partially) successful photograph was developed in 1816, and ever since, we’ve been immortalizing moments on film, however tedious the process. These days, all it takes is a tap or a quick press of button – but despite the conveniences digital photography has to offer, not everyone is abandoning analog just yet.

Canon AE-1, FD 50mm f/1.8 by Antonin Cosset

Looks Matter

Analog photography allows for an incredible colour palette and a huge dynamic range of detail in both the shadows and highlights, lending a certain look that digital shooters try to imitate with post-processing and filters. Like the music purists who rave over the quality of sound on vinyl versus CDs, there are some photographers who swear by analog as it produces more “organic” looking images.

Canon AE-1, FD 85mm f/1.2 by Antonin Cosset

It’s All in The Details

Film has the ability to record even the finest details, where digital sensors can be less responsive. In larger formats, film can even boast higher resolutions, which is why most professional landscape photographers still shoot with 4x5” film. Hard-to-reproduce tonal qualities are also evident in analog-shot photographs, created by the reaction of silver to light. For such reasons, many professional photographers like April-Lea Hutchinson and Bahag De Guzman still prefer shooting in analog over digital.

Canon AE-1, FD 50mm f/1.8 by Antonin Cosset

Quality vs Quantity

One of the biggest arguments for shooting in analog is that it ultimately makes you a better photographer. When you have to manually perfect the exposure, focus and composition each time you release the shutter, it makes you more conscious of the photography process. Plus, as every picture costs money, you’ll want to nail every shot the first time! If you’re the type who wants to perfect his craft, then analog is the way to go.

Canon AE-1, FD 50mm f/1.4 by Antonin Cosset

Film Is (Almost) Forever

Unless you’re set on destroying it, a roll of film that has been properly stored can last for a long time. You often hear horror stories of photographers losing months’ worth of work due to corrupted memory cards – proving that sometimes, technology doesn’t always triumph.

Canon AE-1, FD 50mm f/1.4 by Antonin Cosset

Analog Will Always Be In

While digital camera technology is getting more impressive, we should not overlook the beauty of the good ol’ SLRs. That’s because bodies from decades ago have proven to be just as resilient as their modern-day counterparts. Style-wise, there are so many digital models made to replicate the aesthetics of old-school film cameras. In this case, old is most definitely gold.


Mona Teo
Profile of writer
Mona Teo is a writer based in Singapore who believes that there is nothing more powerful than the written word (not counting coffee). An avid scuba diver and traveler, she relies on her Kindle to get her through flights and seeks inspiration from the world around her.