film photographer in Yosemite National Park

Film vs. Digital

As a film photographer I get asked a lot of questions about how film works or what difference does it make, what’s the big deal about film vs. digital? I would love to fill you in on the differences of film and digital. 

I am always going to use the best camera for the situation. Film does better than digital in very bright harsh light, and digital does better than film in very dark light (like candle light).


Shot with Fuji 400H film on a Pentax 645nii


Here’s a quote from the article linked below: 


“There is a reason film shooters can go on and on about the way film just ‘feels’ different. There is a unique depth, softness and quality of light that immediately comes from a well-shot, professionally processed film scan that digital shooters will spend a lot of time behind the computer trying to replicate. The millions of beautiful golden hour film shots circulating blogs and Pinterest boards are a testament to all film’s instinctual beauty.”


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Film is going to naturally produce smooth, even skin tones while digital needs editing to look like that. And digital is more ‘perfect’ the images are sharper when you zoom in. Film has a little bit of what they call grain to it and have a little bit of a softer look. Digital photos have pixels instead of grain. I have a trained eye and can spot the differences between the two. But for someone who isn’t used to the differences, it can be hard to tell a film image from a well edited digital image.


Shot on Fuji 400H film with a Pentax 645nii


Digital will pick up a little more with imperfections in the skin (which I edit out). But film can really even out the skin without any extra retouching or editing. I can shoot all digital if you prefer or you can choose to add on film. Honestly they are both so very similar, I mainly shoot film for me because I feel it is more artistic and it’s just enjoyable and fun.


Also, check out our photos and stories of our 3 week trip through the western United States and into Canada!


Ektar 100 film photography with a Pentax 645 of a mountain in Banff, CanadaShot on Ektar 100 film with a Pentax 645

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