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Hanging onto a lost art

Updated: Nov 17, 2022

After 5+ years of film strips.. and a marriage to the darkroom.. and recently shooting a short film on an Arri 16mm camera. I can confidently say. This is a lost art. It's something progressive people do, because other progressive people do it. Why they really do it? Well, it's cool. The photos aren't instant. And escaping instant, ironically is what a lot of millennials are trying to do. We are the generation that lived before cell phones, and grew up our pre-teens without instagram. When I was in high school, that was when the first few iphones came out. You know the ones that still had the home button. Yeah.

I shoot film because it's tangible. I recently picked up a carousel to mount my negatives in. It's a projector. I slide my film in, and it displays the image on the wall blown up. For me, it's fun and I'm excited to neatly leave images for future generations to find.

How can I confirm this is a lost art. Most of you probably didn't know that you can mount your negatives and project them. That's a start. Second. Let's just talk about cost. The film can cost $5-35 dollars a roll. Maybe more. Developing can cost $5-18 dollars. Scanning and prints. Add $20. So for $35 images you've just spent $30.


Is it just me, or does it seem all the people who are broke and SHOULD not be shooting film, shoot film? Holla at me hippies.

I digress.

I started shooting film my freshman year in high school. I learned how to get my film out of the canister, put it on a reel, develop it, dry, and create prints in the dark room with an enlarger. I still do this.

I live in Salt Lake City Utah currently. And we have a darkroom in town open to the public. When I moved here, I searched for it and started to use it. The sad news is, when I stopped, and came back a year later to use it again, it was almost literally dusty. New chemicals had to be mixed, to say the least.

The reason I do this, is because I can't wait to have my own dark room one day, and the process of creating prints. It's magic.

As I become a bit more business minded for the artist "Kendall Terra" - Terra meaning Earth.

I've decided Super8 and Polaroids are just no longer within my budget.

Let me know your thoughts.

Honestly the dream is to have more people shoot film, so it becomes more affordable.

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Cameron Gallacher
Cameron Gallacher
Nov 03, 2021

The timing of your post is quite funny for me as I actually am just starting to get into it and yes it is expensive. Especially for those of us who do not know how to develop ourselves. I find it more fulfilling to be very selective with which moments to capture as well as not knowing what the final product will look like. However, in most cases, I believe it comes out looking really special. Helps me stay more in the present moment as well. Keep it alive! Positive mojos your way.


Maybe it will come back like the renewed popularity of vinyl records. I'm sorting through thousands of unorganized photos and the physical touching of the paper and the variations of the color processing or my own black and white prints have such an emotional connection to the moment, the memory. I still remember the anxiety of the darkroom, the smell of the chemicals, the fear that I would make a mistake and lose the roll completely. As much as I love the amazing crispness of digital photos, I miss the gentle fuzziness of my old Ricoh and my grandfather's old German camera from WW2. I miss the careful framing and cautious shooting because it was so expensive. I…

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