Film helps you to accept your mistakes and learn from them

Shooting on film allows you to accept mistakes, because you don’t get a handy RAW-file to tweak in Lightroom. I’ve learned to accept the mistakes and embrace them via film. Not every photo need to tack sharp. Or so what if it’s a bit grainy? It is just a natural part of it. Mistakes are ok and they don’t necessarily ruin the photo.

Pretty far from a perfect focus or composition, but this photo still makes me smile. I’m willing to accept the mistakes, bearing in mind, that this was a pre-metered, zone focused hip shot with a lightning fast reaction to the approaching subject, with a fully mechanical camera… by a rookie. Considering that I was able to pull even this off, in 2 second notice, is something to be proud of.

Shifting away from technical perfection may give you some space to focus more on your content, which is always more important. How many times have you looked at your photo (assuming it’s a digital photo) and kind of realising that it sucks. But you insist of making something out of it and desperately try to hammer it in Lightroom or Photoshop. The foundation of the image needs to be usable in order to make post processing worth while. You just can’t turn a shit photo into a good photo in Lightroom.

Film is in this sense remorseless. You get what you get and there is only few options that you can make to enhance it. You can adjust tones, contrast, crop, do a bit of vignetting and basic darkroomish stuff like that. When you are being removed from the luxury of hard core post editing, you have pretty much just couple of options left: learning from your mistakes and embracing them. By embracing I mean that, not only you’ll accept the mistakes, but you may even start to see a certain kind of tactile beauty in them. Besides, the mistake might give it some unexpected character as well. Be grateful that you managed to capture the photo in the first place. Maybe next time you just remember to pay closer attention to exposure, lighting or whatever, and actually learn from your previous mistakes.