Photos

Young NZ Photographers On Why They Still Fork Out For Film

And how they manage to cut costs, so it doesn’t completely empty their wallets.

by Zoe Madden-Smith
03 January 2019, 8:00pm

Image: Morgan Pedlow

Just like hanging onto your cousin’s vintage Nintendo or Dad’s dusty record collection, shooting with film is an old pastime people are refusing to let go of. And even though the process can be awfully tedious and is probably going suck up more time and cash than digital snaps, these students are sticking with it. Especially now after finding nifty ways to cut costs.

Old mates Morgan Pedlow and Jakob Munford stumbled upon film photography in high school six years ago. Both of them were drawn to the “manual art form” because of the grainy aesthetic and how every step of the sensitive process can change how the image turns out. Not oblivious to the benefits of digital photography—it’s practicality, speed and ease—the pair say it just doesn’t give them the same satisfaction as film.

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Image: Jakob Munford

“You don’t get a second chance to take a photo so you try your best to make the one shot count,” Munford said. “And most of film photography is patience but that's all part of the fun. After I take the photo I won’t see it for at least a couple of weeks, so by the time they get developed, I've usually forgotten what photos I’ve taken. Each photo is a little timestamp of your recent or not so recent history.”

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Image: Jakob Munford

Munford told VICE if you look in the right places, film doesn’t empty your bank account as much as you would think. “I scout for cheap rolls and cameras in op shops, you can pick up a cheap point-and-shoot from a junk store for around $20. Get yourself a roll and a pack of batteries and you’re ready to shoot.”

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Image: Morgan Pedlow

Pedlow has taken things a step further and invested around $300 in his own developing tank and flatbed scanner. No longer relying on stores to develop for him, the set up saves him a humble $10 per reel.

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Image: Morgan Pedlow

“If you invest in your own set up you can do it a lot cheaper but it does take a lot more time”, he said, “and you have to know what you're doing.”

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Image: Morgan Pedlow

This joint collection of theirs visualises how a lot of us Kiwis like to spend our summer days—and how our shots could turn out if we forked out for film too. Tempting.

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Image: Jakob Munford
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Image: Jakob Munford
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Image: Morgan Pedlow
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Image: Morgan Pedlow
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Image: Morgan Pedlow
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Image: Jakob Munford
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Image: Jakob Munford
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Image: Morgan Pedlow