So Why Are So Many People Discovering Film -- Or Rediscovering It?

By Kat Hannaford on at

With some stores reporting up to a 15 per cent increase on film processing in the last year, there's no doubting there's a growing market for film photography. I caught up with Lomography's President and co-founder Sally Bibawy to find out why they think people are flocking back to film (or giving it a go for the very first time.)

Bibawy, while being a film fan for many years herself, credits it to a desire for something more from our photography; an opportunity to have direct control over the outcome, but with a Russian roulette-chance for disaster making the process all the more exciting. "A lot of the young people that grew up with digital did not witness the change from analogue to digital," Bibawy told Gizmodo UK, adding that "for them this is not a step backwards, but something totally new."

For these film newcomers, they don't have any expectations or much prior knowledge of film, so relish learning from scratch, and truly understanding what photography is about -- the elements which are called upon for a terrific photo, such as lighting conditions, timing, distance and aperture.

"In our digital age, it seems as if people are craving something real. If your computer crashes, the memories of whole decades of your life will die with it. If you shoot film, the negative might be passed down through several generations and it will still be usable. This seems to be a calming thought for a lot of photographers," says Bibawy.

While digital seems to be taking a lot of influence from the old, in the form of apps such as Instagram and Hipstamatic, Lomography's President actually credits them for helping reintroduce people to analogue photography. "Many of them grew up in a digital environment and didn't have the chance to get in touch with analogue technology due to their young age. Photography apps trigger their interest in the "real stuff" and then they visit us to get their first roll of film; they find out how creative and inspiring it is to try out the 'real effects,' instead of having a computer chip creating fake effects." However, I'm sure that like The Impossible Project's founder Dr. Florian Kaps told us this week, they "still prefer the whirring noise of a vintage camera and the smell, feel and look of a real, touchable image as it ejects from the camera."

Image Credit: Christine Berrie

This week we’re celebrating all things analogue on Gizmodo UK. Check out all our features here, along with exciting competitions!