Helpful Tips & Tricks for 35mm Film Photography

With film photography making a comeback, many new generations of photographers are being drawn into it, whether they’re serious about it or just in it to learn a vintage technique. But regardless of whether you’re a seasoned film photographer or someone who’s just getting acquainted with the medium, you’ll find today’s video quite useful. Photographer Jonathan Paragas shares some film photography hacks that will definitely improve your efficiency when working with film cameras, and also save you a couple of bucks:

In general, film cameras are more difficult to manage. Unlike with digital cameras, film runs out. The film rolls also have a limited lifespan that you’ll need to closely monitor, and it’s not easy to change your film midway in the field or studio. While these challenges may sound like a big deal to beginner film photographers, the reality is easier.

As Paragas shows in the video, you can get 100-foot rolls for certain black and white films. You’ll need to get yourself a bulk loader at first, but this will save you quite a bit of money in the long run. Regarding the limited shelf life, you can easily extend the lives of film canisters by simply sealing them in a ziplock back and putting them in your refrigerator. And as for changing your film while out shooting, there’s a common trick that makes it fairly easy. Paragas explains it quite well in the video—be sure to watch it.

Another challenge you’ll commonly come across in analog photography is in metering your shot. While using a light meter is the best way, you can use any light meter app on your smartphone as a cheaper alternative. They may not work perfectly, but it will give you a good reference. You can also use your smartphone to turn your negatives into positives. This comes in handy when you need to preview your negatives. Look for a setting in your phone to invert the colors and use the camera app to preview your negatives. It’s as simple as that!

Do you have any other tips for film photography? We’d love to hear from you—leave your ideas in the comments below.

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