Yeah I know. I am late (yet again). But as they say, it’s better late than never.
Excuses, excuses, excuses.
April is the Film photography month. It’s not a big event for many people, but for analog lovers it is a special day to commemorate the beauty and wonder of film photography. Around the world, enthusiasts organize events in celebration of the event. Some do photowalks, others create fun photo experiments, while others just get together to party. Here in the Philippines… I don’t know.
Maybe there were few, small events held, but I am not sure of it. You see, even though Makati and Pasig city took the “selfie capital of the world” title, Filipinos are not really into analog cameras. They enjoy the convenience of digital cameras and smartphones, so it would be rare to bump into someone holding a film camera. People who see me holding my cameras for the first time, start conversations with: Bakit film gamit mo? Meron pa pala gumagamit nyan? Or Ano yan? They are curious about the camera’s unique looks, but they won’t bother thinking of shooting with one.
Analog photography is not for everyone. I know. I don’t try to force people to use one. Besides digital cameras are, without a doubt, convenient and cheaper to use. But I hope people would appreciate photography on its roots. I also hope that more and more events would pop out, to encourage people to try film. Maybe by it, better analog cameras and films will come out.
Actually, Philippines have yet to have its own Lomography Embassy. While neighboring countries like Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, and Indonesia already have their Lomography stores long ago, we only have Team Manila- at least. Honestly, I am tad unhappy with the store. No offense meant, but I rather have one Lomography store, than have many branches that sells cameras and films, months after the world already enjoyed the new product.
I am grateful with Team Manila. At least, with them, I can still buy Lomo products, and even develop my films. I can even shop for clothes while buying Lomo products. I just hope that one day, Philippines gets their own Lomography store so that more people will get to know about analog photography.
I also dream of a local version of Yodobashi Camera’s film cooler. It would be wonderful to have a store, where photographers can reach all the films they want to buy. They do not have to order abroad or find a seller online. It is also nice to see all the films stack together in a cooler, I only see cooling sodas and milks in supermarket. On the other hand, I bet these films are really expensive because they are fresh and well-stored.
Years ago, before I even knew about film photography, there were groups of people who actively attend photowalk and and photoevents. They were very passionate about the art. As years passed, the members became less active, and became very busy with their personal lives. I still see them post awesome pictures on their Facebook page, but I don’t see a lot of organized events (other than few photowalk invites) that they post. It is sad, because it would be delightful to meet people who share the same passion.
I am dreaming of a bigger and more dedicated group that would open exhibits or seminars in schools. It could help a lot in encouraging younger generations to pause hasty photo taking, exaggerated photo manipulation, and use of over the top camera filters, and admire the raw beauty of film photography. How every picture is worth a keep even if it’s grainy, blurry, or light-leaked. How they can capture visual imagery through various lens, films, and a bit of experimentation.
Right now, many people find the rustic style of film photography interesting, but they prefer using it as filters in digital photos they take. This interest can actually be a fuel to ignite more and more people who use films as medium of photography. I hope that many people see photography beyond, the squared images of Instagram or the limited 16 retro filters it offers. When that time comes, I would really feel happy that analog photography is still alive and growing.