Is Analog Photography Valuable in a Digital World?

I didn’t get into analog photography to become a hipster… I’ve just never stopped using my analog cameras!

I received my first camera as a gift from my uncle when I was just a little girl. As it was the late 80s (a time before mobile phone cameras, selfie sticks and digital cameras), the camera was an analog one, a simple Yashica, which required a battery – and a film! Remember those?

I began to take my first photos.

Magdalena Szczoczarz. Analog photography

At first, I wanted to create a photograph which had the power to take me back to the moment I was in during taking it.

Later, I wanted to create a photograph which had the power to transport me somewhere else, to a different place of my mind, to a different part of my heart.

Boats in the rain in Vietnam. Analog photography

I realised that I could learn a lot about myself through photography. I wanted to catch not only a moment, but also feelings, emotions, a piece of a story.

Woman with tattooed arm. Analog photography

As I grew older, I knew that I wanted to travel. As a child, I was packed and ready to go at least two weeks before every family trip or school camp.

Travel for me was a powerful discovery. The feeling of freedom when you are young and you first discover that you really can go wherever you want, cannot be compared to anything else.

As a child, I used to inebriate myself with that feeling. Today travel gives me exactly the same state of mind. I have learned to feel it really deeply.

Analog photography

Analog photography

Analog photography
Analog photography

Whenever I travel, I have a camera with me. Always.

At least four cameras. Analog ones.

  1. A Pentax K 1000
  2. A Lubitel 166 (that the photographs above were taken with).
  3. A Olympus mju II
  4. A Lomo

Sometimes, I also travel with:

  1. A Mamiya RB 67
  2. A Smena
  3. A Certo six,
  4. A Polaroid sx 70

Even when I sleep. Especially when I sleep at the airports or on trains. You never know when it’s the perfect moment for a photograph.

Dog in a t-shirt. Analog photography

To me, my old cameras smell like a great piece of a story. The digital ones don’t smell at all.

There is something extraordinary when it comes to taking photographs with an old camera. Not everyone knows how to use them. When I take a photograph with an old camera, everyone wants to be a part of my story. People are intrigued.

For them, it stirs nostalgic memories of childhood or family trips, when they remember a relative with similar equipment.

This way, it’s easy for me to connect with people.

Woman ob beach with cow in Goa. Analog photography

Before taking a photo on an analog camera, you have to think.

Before you push the button.

You have to be aware of the present moment all of the time. You observe. You don’t want to waste a precious frame (since you have only 36 frames to play with).

Girl in bikini with tattoos. Analog photography

What is more, you must wait for the results…

You never know exactly how your photograph will turn out. The photograph is shrouded in mystery.

There is always surprise, just like travel.

Girl in Goa, India. Analog photography

For me, analog cameras add to the adventure and spontaneity of travel in the same way that digital cameras extract it.

My advice? Slow down. Appreciate the precious moment. Taste, touch, smell, explore, and capture…

…after all, you only have 36 frames to play with.

 

So what do you think?

Have you ever thought about the way that digital cameras have changed our behaviour when we travel? Click. Click. Click. Do we ever stop to think about what we are photographing anymore?

Gone are the days of waiting a week when we return home for our travel photos to develop, so that we can drool over images and relive memories from our trip of a lifetime. From analog cameras to the days of smart phones and instant gratification, have we lot something in the process?

 

Analog photographyAbout the photographer: 

Magdalena Szczoczarz is a 33-year old girl from Poland, Staszow. She runs, sings in a kolakawa band, makes amateur music video clips and travels with herold cameras For more photography, check out her website:  www.magdaemfoto.com, or you can find her on Instagram, Facebook and her blog.

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