The Today Show’s Al Roker Produces Segment With All Analog Film Photos

In case you haven’t noticed, analog film photography is back! And as proof of that, the folks over at the Today Show did a special segment on it. But this wasn’t just any segment: the majority of it was shot with analog film photography through still images with voiceovers–something the Today Show’s Al Roker says has never been done before. The segment was shot on 35mm film, Fujifilm peel apart, Impossible Project film, Fujifilm Instax mini, Instax wide, and a bit of wet plate collodion.

Talk about an expensive production, right?

The segment explores how film photography and analog photography is coming back these days and it ventures out to work with two organizations in particular, the Penumbra Foundation and Lomography NYC.

Al Roker visits Geoffrey Berliner of Penumbra to talk about the resurgence of analog film photography and asks Geoff if he thought that film and analog were gone. Amongst a scene with all the vintage lenses collected by Penumbra, Geoff was almost convinced at one point until the revival, with a slew of photographers who started in digital and never experienced film before–much to the scoff of photographers who cut their teeth on film. Though if you asked any of us, I strongly believe there was a period of time around 2009 to 2012 where we all thought film was gone. It was a dark time with everyone discontinuing film and so many major technological advances in digital photography changed the industry. But as Al even states, we rediscovered what we were missing.

After visiting Penumbra, Roker visits the Lomography Gallery NYC store–a favorite haunt of yours truly where we’re teaching a workshop very soon on studio portraiture with instant film. There Al speaks with Lomography Marketing Director Katherine Phipps who teaches him about some of their products. Al takes the instant film cameras out onto the streets to have fun with them and interact with strangers. His confidence is something that every street photographer only dreams of having!

The video is really worth checking out but more importantly it’s fantastic that the larger and bigger world of photographers out there is acknowledging photography isn’t only about pixels and all the technology that can be crammed into a phone. Instead, a lot of it is a personalized process that a digital machine can’t really deliver like film can. Trust me, I’ve done two shoots over the weekend where I’ve seen this.

Check out the entire segment at the Today Show.