All film photographers have their own reason for sticking to this format, and this is Ben Horne’s.
Landscape photographer Ben Horne is known for working with large format cameras and taking breathtaking images of the wilderness. And in one of his recent videos for his series on YouTube: “Film Photography: The Beauty of Working with a Mature Technology,” he shared with his followers why he enjoys shooting with this medium more than with any digital camera.
As he had related in the video, Ben’s appreciation for film stems from a few things; it ages better than digital; it’s less about the equipment and more about “the stuff that really does make a difference,” namely the composition, subject, and lighting, among other things; and it’s all about you and your decisions when you create your images.
To put things in perspective, he used Southwestern Zen as an example, one of the photos he took back in 2009 during his first solo landscape trip where he used a 4×5 camera also for the first time. According to Ben, looking at the picture now, he feels “fully satisfied” with everything about it: he said he had the film, focus, and composition how it should be.
“If I could go back in time [and] relive that moment and reshoot it, I really wouldn’t want to do anything different because I’m fully satisfied with all the decisions that I made when I shot that photo.”
Had he taken the same photo on digital, which he didn’t even though during that trip he also had the then state-of-the-art but “stupidly expensive” Canon 1DS Mark 3, Ben said that he probably would still feel some reservations about it now. This, even if he also had the settings and conditions right, “knowing that it could be even better if it was shot on a more recent camera like a Nikon D50 with 40 something megapixels or some other really high-resolution camera that’s out.”
“I think with time with digital, we end having a little bit of a growing, sort of resentment towards some of the past work ‘cause we feel like it could be better if it was shot on a new camera. That’s kind of the job of the camera makers nowadays. They go out of their way to make you feel as though the camera that you’re working with now is suddenly not good enough anymore when the new one comes out. ‘Cause things still are changing with digital.”
Watch Ben talk about his love for film below:
Screenshot taken from the video by Ben Horne.