The Return To Film

Film isn’t foreign to me.

My father taught me everything there was to know about film photography in the early 80’s and I returned to film several times, briefly throughout the last two decades.

I'm returning to film once again but this time some things are different.

First, I’m shooting medium format film using Yashica Mat 124 TLR cameras, which limits me to 12 exposures per roll of film.

Second, I’m only taking one photo of each subject so if I don’t get the shot the first time, I don’t get the shot at all.

The Yashica is a 6x6 camera that produces square format photos, something I’ve always been drawn to since my first project. The Ben Franklin Bridge consists of square photos.

There are several personal reasons why I decided to go back to analog.

Most important, I want to live a more physical/tactile life and firmly believe that photography beyond the snap shot has been greatly damaged by social media and the smart phone.

I’ve also grown tired of the bombardment of questions. Inquiries about the digital camera of the moment, future cameras, and questions about my camera settings on specific shots are distractions for me.

Will I ever return to digital?

Who knows? I have no plans at the moment and am not thinking about it for at least another decade.

For now, I’ll be printing these images on my Epson archival printer but I cannot rule out making darkroom prints sometime in the future.

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Michael Penn Photography
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