My first camera was the Pentax K1000 and I still use it today.
Though I’ve picked up tons more gear through the years (including a Leica M6 that I’m totally in love with), I still find myself going back to analog from time to time when I feel like I need to slow down and get back to my roots, or when I just want to feel those old metal and plastic precision parts clicking in my hands again. Then there’s the excitement and anticipation of getting your film developed, which is a whole other story.
Other than learning the core values of photography, I think the greatest thing that shooting analog has taught me has been slowing down and doing 99% of the work before pusing the shutter button. I can manipulate the hell out of a picture if I wanted to, but I don’t. The only post-processing that I typically do with most photographs is often just cropping and sometimes I’ll adjust the levels.
I’ve lost lots of beloved photos that I wish I could have larger scans and prints of. And I sometimes regret not keeping track of all of the types of film I’ve used through the years, though now it probably doesn’t matter much these days. I do have my favorite types, though, and I’ll always have a handful of rolls of film that I’ve never tried before in my bag to experiment with. And experimenting with film and waiting to see the final result is one of the greatest joys for me with film photography.
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For now, I get my film developed (with prints) at The Darkroom and will be finally getting up the courage to develop my own film someday soon.