Why I Chose Film for "Brothers"

"Brothers" by Derrick Story - Pentax ZX-5 with Pentax-F 50mm f/1.7 lens.

Over at The Nimble Photographer, I wrote about the events surrounding this shot, touching on my choosing film. But here, I want to focus more on the analog aspect.

When I left the studio that afternoon to meet the boys and their mom, I chose a film camera on purpose. Because as a dad, this was an important event for me. And for these types of moments, film makes more sense.

Why is that?

I think there are a couple reasons. First, in my generation, film was the medium to record family history. The photo album was a treasured possession that seemed to appear alongside cake and coffee whenever guests visited. It was easy. There was no setup. Just turn a page and see what's there.

Magazines such as Time, Newsweek, and Life recorded world events on film. And if you were worth your salt as a reporter or historian, you had some understanding of this medium.

Beyond that, once processed, film does not depend on any technology to be enjoyed. It just is. Hand a print to a friend and regardless of their age, education, or technical savvy, and they can enjoy the image. And chances are good that will remain true 100 years from now.

And that's why I grabbed a film camera while heading out the door on that summer evening to meet my boys. And in my mind, it was the perfect choice.


Sculpture and Sky