A hint of nostalgia with analog film overlays
When I learned photography, the techniques, settings, developing,… it was all on film. Mostly 35mm sometimes large format. Hours and hours I have spent in a dark room waiting for that magical moment of the appearing image.
At that time, I couldn’t get into digital photography fast enough. It was new, it was exciting and mostly, I didn’t have to sit and wait in the dark for film to develop and dry. I could use photoshop to fix dust or scratches instead of hours of painting with ink and a tiny brush. Also, I started learning so much quicker because – even though the screens were crappy- you could see and correct your mistakes right away.
Now almost 20 years later, and with the camera’s so sharp you could count someone’s pores, I sometimes long for that analog feel. The happy accidents, the imperfections, the vibe,… and I’ve been experimenting to get that feeling back.
You might know that I’m not the kind of photographer that likes to spend a lot of time editing photographs. It’s not that I don’t like the results that some get, but it’s just not my thing. I’d rather be out and edit rather minimal. So my first solution was using old lenses, mostly without autofocus and I’m loving the results like the blurs and lens flares but they are not all-round lenses.
Because I don’t always have the end result in mind when I document life, I had a lightbulb turning on when I started to scan old family pictures. Sometimes, by accident, I didn’t count right and I scanned a ‘failed’ picture that turned out under/over-exposed or something weird happened to the film strip. In a separate map, a copy of these failed negatives was kept and they found their way into experiments with a variety of modern DSLR photographs.
It clicked. The extra layers provide a more analog feel, an extra layer of storytelling and depth. Less perfection, more texture. And with modern technology, all these dust and scratches or rough edges can be just thrown on or controlled in intensity. Depending on the image I sometimes like a very prominent scratch while on others a speck of light dust is all it needs.
If you are interested in these analog film overlays, they are now available in my shop – digital magic. It’s a collection of genuine analog film overlays that I’ve been using for a while now and I love how it gives a photograph a different feel.
Right now, I’m also experimenting with extra found and created textures and when I have a good collection of gems that works well together, I will make them available too.