The Easiest Black and White Film Emulsions to Start with

Black and white film is much easier to start with than color.

The saying goes that with most black and white film, you can get all of the forgiveness in the world. For the most part that’s true; and that’s why so many schools encourage students to start out with black and white film if they’re teaching film photography. Indeed, black and white film shooting also makes you think in a different way about the images you’re going to shoot – which teaches you to look at scenes in a way digital won’t. With lots of new photographers getting into the game, many are also trying to experience film for themselves for the first time. Why? Well, lots of these new folks haven’t had that experience.

We’ve put together a new video for all of you who are looking to getting into film photography. And for the most part, I’d say you should start with black and white. In addition to that, get a camera that doesn’t have a light meter and learn how to read light, think about light, use ‘Sunny 16’, etc. It will teach you more about how to expose when you use digital cameras and it will also teach you more about the editing process simply because you’re planning ahead in many ways. With digital photography you don’t necessarily do that; and part of that is the beauty of digital. But with film, you really need to shoot with intent. You often only get 24 or 36 shots on 35mm but with 120 you can get anywhere from 8 to around 16 if you’re using the more common formats.

If you’re a fan of this video, we encourage you to follow us on YouTube. We’ve got a lot more tips, tutorials and tricks on the way. And if you’re looking for even more film photography goodness, our search bar on the desktop version of our website is chock full of everything you’d want. But to head to most of our analog reviews, click here.