I’ll Be Photographing Cars with Film in 2020

by | Mar 3, 2020

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

Once upon a time, when photo magazines were really a thing, they had travel budgets and could afford to send Contributing Writers, like me, to the big photokina show in Germany. At one of the last film-based trade shows I was sitting in the press room talking with Joe Meehan and some other photo magazine editors when he asked us, “How many cameras do you own?”

Keep in mind that this was at the beginning of the digital era and many of us still used and had film cameras, maybe lots of them. A former Shutterbug editor told Joe that he had somewhere around two hundred cameras.

I did some mental calculations and came up with 25, although that might have been a little low at the time. After digital imaging became mainstream, I sold a number of film cameras that I owned, something that I regret.

Selling many of these film cameras was the dumbest idea in the history of dumb ideas. To this day, I really regret selling all of my Contax rangefinder cameras and SLRs. Dumb, dumb dumber. And while the prices I received for them were low at the time, the growing popularity of film photography make them unaffordable for me to be able to purchase again. (sigh.)

How I made this shot: Red, white and blue colors make this hot rod photograph a patriotic one and shows off the color as well as the pure neutral tones from the chrome in the engine that Kodak’s Ektar 100 is capable of reproducing. Image was captured with my now-departed Pentax 6×7 and 75 f/4.5 SMC lens with an exposure of 1/125 sec at f/11.

Sales of Kodak film were up 21 % but profits were down, which is why Kodak Alaris (the company that actually makes the film) is planning to raise all film prices starting on January 1, 2020. Sales of Fuji’s Instax cameras have risen steadily since 2013 and they are selling 900,000 cameras a month and just introduced the $69.95 Instax Mini 11. Demographics are on film’s side: Ilford Photo, confirmed this trend last year after a survey found 30 percent of film users were under 35 years old and 60 percent had only started shooting film in the last five years.

So what about you? Are you thinking about going back to or starting to shoot film? My personal plans are to shoot more film in 2020, including capturing some of this year’s Cars and Coffee events with the film cameras that I have left including a Hasselblad XPan, Leica M6 TTL, Minolta Prod 20, Zeiss Ikon SW and the gold-trimmed Seagull TLR that Mary gave me as a birthday gift many years ago. What are your film plans for this year? Click the Contact tab  and let me know.




PS. In addition to film, I love me some divas, including Celine Dion and when I saw this black and white cover of her album The Essential Celine Dion with her holding a film-based Hasselblad. It just made me love her more.

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