Because Life is not made of 1s and 0s

The lab where I buy my Ilford FP4 film is in Valencia, Spain.  Their service is excellent and I am happy to give them a shout out:  Carmencita Film Lab is great.  They ship quickly and always have stock on hand.  I have not tried any of their other services, but if they are anything like their film service, I am sure they are great! 

The reason I decided to write this blog entry is the tag line on Carmencita’s website, which I have used for the title here: Because Life is not made of 1s and 0s.  I am starting to see a renaissance in the use of film.  People stop me and ask about my camera.  In the line-up at airport security – as it used to be – there was always curiosity around my old beaten up Leica, but the frequency is definitely up. 

I take this as a signal that the concept of the limitation to just 36 frames, the wabi-sabi of having to wait to see your imperfect negative and print, along with the idea that digital manipulation is not a requirement, is back in vogue. 

After all, digital manipulation has nothing to do with the concept of capturing light and shadow, which is the foundation of black and white photography, it is about fixing it later.  Photography should be about you and your pursuit of excellence in the moment, much like drawing a circle freehand, over and over again, knowing you will never do so perfectly, but you still keep trying!    

To many, I will always be a dinosaur.  A slowly evolving photographer, who has spent countless hours trying to get the camera to help me capture my particular split second view of the world around me.  I frame, I shoot, and I hope that I get what I conceived in my mind’s eye.  Sometimes it works, more often it doesn’t.  I like the idea of chance… of serendipity. 

Harbel: Broken Umbrella

So, for those that are interested in analogue and those that see film as the new frontier: Welcome!  For those that are still shooting film and love it:  Keep doing your thing! 

If we are lucky, the analogue ripple may one day turn into a proper wave – if not a tsunami – and we may actually trigger the rebirth of interesting printing papers on par with what existed in the first half of the 20th century.

One more time:  Life is not made of 1s and 0s! 

Amen.

Harbel

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