In The Valley Of Fading Bronze

August 05, 2021

Giving the 35mm analogue-film look some love in post…

Sony A9 + FE 85mm F1.4 GM

Sony A9 + FE 85mm F1.4 GM

Sony A9 + FE 85mm F1.4 GM

We often wonder what the younger generation - who presumably have only rarely, or never, encountered a photograph that wasn’t taken by a digital sensor - think when they see photographs post-processed to reflect the look of old 35mm analogue-film. Does it just look weird, with all the grain, lack of clinicality and slightly pushed colour casts? Maybe it comes across as just another instagram/tiktok filtre? Or does it just plain look old and weird, like our parents’ “oldies” music when we were young?

We’re at that in-between age where we would regularly encounter physical film photographs as a child, but by the time we got to college and got our first camera, everything had shifted completely to digital and while we remember film photographs, we have only really ever known and experienced digital photography.1

Nonetheless, there’s something about processing photos in a way inspired by2 the 35mm film of old that evokes - for whatever reason - warm whistful nostalgic feelings for an era long-past.

  1. We remember that mens wallets used to come with a plastic insert in it to carry printed photos of your family - but we honestly don’t know if we ever even had physical printed photographs in our possession anywhere (other than ID photos, etc.). Everything lives on our phones, on our computers or on the web now. 

  2. We say “inspired by” because our pursuit of filmic perfection only extends as far as tweaking some curves, HSL and film grain3 sliders. There’s still a lot of clearly digital clinicalness to these photos (or maybe it’s the result of high resolution sensors and crazy sharp modern glass) but that’s okay with us, since in the end, we are children of the digital (photography) age. 

  3. Well, Lightroom noise sliders anyway… 

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