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5 tips for an analog summer

Camera, roll and bucket hat to discover the pleasure of slow photography

5 tips for an analog summer Camera, roll and bucket hat to discover the pleasure of slow photography

In the era of 8K smartphones, shooting with an analog camera to many may seem like a paradox. Yet, in recent times there are more and more people who are rediscovering the pleasure of slowness and support through the camera and films.
In opposition to digital photography, shooting on film eliminates the immediacy of the result, but this slow rhythm changes the creative process and reveals an investigation into subjects that it is difficult to grasp through the screen of a smartphone. Analogue photographs, then, have that vintage but not retro patina, which when it comes to frame contemporary reality creates a strange and interesting alienating, almost as it was a dreamlike effect. More than just capturing a moment, it almost seems to photograph a memory, especially in summer, when colors are enhanced by sunlight and nights are lived longer.

Except for the more romantic part, shooting in analog obviously requires many practical complications compared to digital photography, which is why many are discouraged by the various uncertainties on where to buy the camera, which film rolls to use or other problems of this kind. This short guide therefore aims to give 5 tips to those who are beginners or want to experience analog photography for the very first time in summer 2020.

 

Which camera to buy?

If you are a beginner, the best solution is a compact point and shoot, also knows as battle cameras. If you are looking for a second-hand camera, it is useless to pay more than € 100: even when they cost € 15 they can be fine, just be careful that the electrical circuits work (if the machine has any). The best place to buy tickets is eBay (but watch out for rip-offs). To be on the safe side, we recommend you the sites of two trusted stores: Safelight Berlin in Berlin and Newoldcamera in Milan.
A cheaper but practical solution can be the disposable cameras on sale on Amazon: the pro is that the quality of the photos will still be good, the con is that you will not become attached to the machine by exploring its strengths and weaknesses.

Instead, if you want to save money and have the photos already printed, Zara has presented the new Instax mini 9, at a price of € 89,95.

If you are experienced and have a big budget, the buy a Contax T2.


Films

Let's start by saying that there is no better photographic film, but there are various types to choose depending on the situation and their characteristics. The choice depends on the sensation and the effect that each photographic film can give to our photos. The first major division is between color and black and white films: for beginners, the first are better, especially if you want to take pictures in summer when the natural light illuminates the colors of everything around you.

There are many varieties of film. If you are looking for something easy but functional, then we recommend the Fujifilm Fujicolor Superia 400 in color and the Kodak Professional TRI X 400/400TX.

 

Accessories

To shoot you just need to have a good eye, machine and film, but some accessory never hurts. The most recommended are: case, camera straps, additional flash and the exposure meter if the camera has manual settings of light and diaphragm. For the recommended look, bucket hat and a fanny pack.

 

Development, scanning and printing

An advice for those who are really novice: find a shop that does development and scanning. In Milan, the legendary Speed Photo di Via Imbriani 55 is better, cheaper and faster. If you are not in Milan look for a photo shop, but do not stamp the photos before having seen them digitally scanned. If you want to try to develop with your hand at developing chemicals and scanners, Ars - Imago International home development kit even without a darkroom.



Take inspiration

 

Analog photography is not easy when you are a beginner. You have to be patient, and expect burnt rolls and blurry photos. Two of the most important differences compared to take pictures with a mobile phone are the composition of the frame and the behavior of the light. Practice is the best way to learn, but in the meantime you can always take inspiration from the best Instagram profiles of analog photos. If you are more traditionalist, however, the advice is to read Photography Lessons by Luigi Ghirri.

Among the most interesting Instagram accounts, we recommend: