Landscape on Film

Film as a medium often seems at a centreĀ of a debate, so familiar in the world obsessed with gear. To me, film offers an option to interpret landscape in a different, somewhat unconventional way. It offers a departure from razor sharp imagery of so much nature photography we see today.

Lambton, Toronto, July 2015
Lambton, Toronto, July 2015

Started shooting film for mostly nostalgic reasons, following unearthing some old negatives and an ancient Soviet-made Zorki camera. This time- travel led me to trying my usual haunts on a different medium, and to some surprising results. I discovered that familiar and somewhat “well worn” scenes started showing a different, more moody,view.

Lambton, Toronto, January 2016
Lambton, Toronto, January 2016

With its tonal range and grain texture, film offers a different mood, an option to create a different version of a landscape. With a different contrast and tonal space, possibilities to interpret and abstract a scene seem much broader. Film film combines with digital detector(s) into a great toolset to capture and expand the visual narrative. Tools that complement each other in a wonderful way, particularly when choosing Nikon lens as a camera, providing consistency in optics and somewhat unifying workflow and ergonomics.

Marie Curtis Park, Etobicoke, December 2015
Marie Curtis Park, Etobicoke, December 2015

Having more control over the image creation, and operating in a hybrid workflow definitely helps. This extended workflow opens more avenues for exploration, but equally as many potential side-steps. I still need to more fully develop a whole different level of visual awareness and determine exactly how film-based imaging complements photographic projects. The work, however, is less work and more fun, which is exactly what photography ought to be first and foremost.

Humber Bay, Etobicoke, January 2016
Humber Bay, Etobicoke, January 2016

This is not an entry or contribution to the film vs. digital debate. In fact, there should be no debate, film extends creative toolbox and it has a credible place in any visual artist’s toolbox. I am still meddling with various aspects of the workflow, but it is clear that there is something in the way film delivers. Much like a good scene, keeps surprising and delivering, asking for many more return trips.

Leave a Reply