Why Analog?

BY KAT VILLAREAL

Kat Villareal takes us on her journey with analog photography. She shares stories about her experience

with the medium and everything in between.

Why I pursue analog photography

How it all started

Just like a lot of people, I used to take photos just for the sake of it. My father gifted me with a Sony Cybershot when I graduated from college and brought it everywhere with me. I took photos of everything. I didn't care if the horizon was tilted or my lines were askew. All I cared about was getting my photos out there for people to see regardless if it were photoshopped and stacked with filters.

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Succumbing to depression a few months later, my camera gathered dust inside my closet for almost a year before I took it out again. I joined photography groups and became friends with awesome people. Among them was someone who was interested in film photography. He invited me to a Facebook group dedicated to film, Lomomanila.

 

I was greeted with film photos from all over the world posted by no less than Filipinos. I was awestruck. I thought film cameras were extinct and film photography was dead. Yet there it was on Facebook, alive and thriving. 

It was in the summer of 2017 when a friend offered to let me borrow his extra camera, a Nikon D40. It was big and heavy, but I didn't care. I was amazed holding a DSLR for the first time. The dials and buttons made me feel like I was a legitimate photographer. It was at that moment that my perception of photography changed forever. 

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How I fell in love with the process

FILM WAS

LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT

My friend and I started reading about film photography online, spent hours upon hours looking for cameras, and joined a few more film groups on Facebook. He eventually bought a Nikon FE and a month later, in October 2019, he got me my very first film camera, a Diana Mini which I fondly call Dee, and 3 rolls of film.

Aside from loading the film, using the camera itself was difficult. The Diani Mini was small and had limited functions, having an aperture range of just f/8 and f/11 with everything being done manually. Being so used to digital cameras, shifting to analog made me sweat bullets at first. 

Imagine taking a photo and not being able to see how it turns out. Unlike digital cameras, film cameras don't give you the luxury of letting you review the photos that you shot. You have to finish your roll first, have it processed in a film lab, and wait for even more time for the lab to send you back your prints/scans.

 

I remember handing over my first roll of film to the lab guy with mixed emotions. I was both excited and anxious with constant thoughts of "what if nothing shows up on the negative?" and "what if my photos suck?". 

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I got my scans back the next day and much to my relief, there they were, my very first film photos. They weren't perfect but I was so happy with how my photos turned out that I wanted to cry. The satisfaction I felt with the whole process of shooting analog was so great that I realized right then and there that film photography is something that I wanna keep doing for a long time. 

Kat Villareal takes us on her journey with analog photography. She shares stories about her experience with the medium and everything in between.

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