For the last couple of years I have been slowly – very slowly at times – working my way through the final few rolls of photographic film I possess. On Sunday, finally, I exposed my very last film frame, finishing off a roll of Kodak T-Max 100. I packed it up, sent it off for dev and scan (I don’t bother with prints any more), and the results arrived back this morning.
The image above is what I expect to be the very last image I ever take on film. I do love some qualities of film – the grain and the way it makes you focus on exactly the image you want, because you have so few exposures to play with. I even enjoy the process of loading a camera with film, leaving you ready to go. But I don’t love the time it takes to turn things around, the extra costs involved and the lack of embedded metadata.
Something like 38 years ago, I took my very first photo on film, using my Mum’s camera, while toddling round the streets near our house in Hazel Grove. It was of a flowering plant in the border of a neighbour’s garden. To honour that moment when my three-year old self discovered something that has been an obsession for the whole of my life since, my last film photo was of flowers, too, this time in the window box on our balcony.
Thanks, film. I had great fun with you. I enjoyed shooting on you, and developing you, and printing my own photos on my own enlarger in a spare cupboard at home. I enjoyed running the school darkroom, and quickly turning around prints for college magazines. But we’re done. From now on, it’s digital all the way.