My husband said to me, "Isn't the fact that you're attending a workshop called 'Film Is Not Dead' mean that it film is dead?" Me, "NO!" I let my husband know that there has been a bit of a resurgence in film photography. Labs that were closing down are suddenly hiring again. Sure, it is not the same as fifteen years ago, or even ten years ago but people are discovering the quality can't be beat with digital.
And the biggest evangelist of this is Jonathan Canlas. Pictured below:
I am so so so so happy I signed up for his workshop! As soon as I signed up I was allowed access to the FIND Facebook group and the FIND forum. Wow, this alone was worth the price of the workshop. The group has formed an amazing world-wide community of awesome photographers posting 24/7.
Being in the forum gave me the courage to experiment with film before the workshop. I borrowed my friend's Leica M6 to experiment. After shooting with the Leica I wasn't sure film was for me. Focusing the range finder took some getting used to and I wasn't sure I was getting decent shots. For one roll I thought I was shooting color but oops, it was black and white! And when I finished a roll of film and didn't have any more frames I wanted to "chimp" through my images to delete the so-so ones to take more. I was a little spoiled by the instant gratification of digital. But then I saw the results (that I didn't have to Photoshop) and film is pretty appealing.
Yes, I want a Leica now! (Full disclosure, being a FINDer opens a can of worms for new gear you are going to want. Not that there's not an insane list of gear I want for my digital stuff too. Gear crushing is the curse of every photographer.)
Being on the "thrifty" side I decided to buy a 35mm Nikon F100 (even though most folks shoot medium format) to capture some photos on film. I figured I could use my Nikon lenses I use on my D700 with the F100 and save myself some cash. I finally tested out my Nikon F100 at the workshop and sadly, the piece of crap I got off of eBay is not focusing correctly. It felt off but when I got the film back, I knew for sure. The ones that were in focus though... wow! I love the color. Here are a few samples from my piece of crap camera. Yes, a piece of crap camera took these:
Once again, no Photoshop people! (Disclosure #2: I have a love/hate relationship with Photoshop. I love what I can do with it. I hate it for the amount of time it sucks out of me.) Results like this without the post-processing is really luring me in.
I've been continuing to shoot digital in my sessions since the workshop, but as the year goes on I may add a film option for my sessions (once I get that F100 fixed, or bite the bullet for a medium format camera.) Regardless if I chose to continue shooting digitally or in film I will say that the Film Is Not Dead workshop was well worth my money. It has made me a better photographer regardless of the medium. The best part of the workshop was meeting the amazing people in FIND in person and the awesome Jonathan Canlas. Thank you Jon for coming to Seattle! You have a friend in Seattle for life.