The Comeback of Film Photography

Once thought to be left in the past, film photography has made a reappearance. In 2022 and over the last 20-years, technological developments have improved and the use of digital cameras has become normal. Recently, film photography and other vintage photographic goods have risen in popularity among people who have grown up in a digital world.

What is film photography?  It begins with a camera that uses film much like the digital cameras we see today. The difference is that it has film that goes in the back of the camera and manual light settings such as ISO (the camera’s sensitivity to light) and shutter speed (how fast the camera lens closes). These light settings control and measure the amount of light coming through the camera lens. When light is exposed to a piece of film that is sensitive to light it causes a chemical reaction on the film. Digital cameras have a light-sensitive sensor that measures the amount of light coming through the lens and communicates the information through a screen. This is saved using digital storage such as an SD card or hard drive. Digital cameras produce good quality pictures in less time, with less complicated access, and easier storage. 

Credible data proves companies that produce cameras or photography gear, such as Kodak or Canon, have had exponential growth in film camera sales over the last 5-years. The use of film cameras has attracted an enormous community of followers that appear on different social media platforms like Instagram and YouTube. On Instagram, there are over 200-million photos with the tag, #filmisnotdead

Film expert and photographer, Teo Crawford investigated why film photography has become popular again. He explored the idea that maybe it is older generations trying to bring film photography back for nostalgia reasons. When taking a closer look, he realized it is in fact the younger generations, such as Generation Z, bringing the manual photography method back. “They have never been a part of an age where film was necessary but yet they strive to achieve a sense of age and authenticity in their photography.” (Crawford) 

Generation Z and Millennials have grown up in a world with advanced technology and information at their fingertips, yet, film photography has made a comeback.  Whether this is because of aesthetics, trends, or because it is a way to show knowledge around a camera, it is becoming immensely popular again. Younger or older, expert or beginner, film photography is something incredible that anyone can learn. Next time you are on Instagram check out the tag #filmisnotdead to look at some amazing film photos taken by a variety of people.

Charlotte Salazar – Writer/Editor for the Catalyst

, ,


Subscribe to our RSS feed and social profiles to receive updates.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: