Lucas Opitz / Courtesy Photo


This hashtag has been scattered over social media platforms for quite some time now, creating a community of film photography enthusiasts and inspiring others to try their hand at the unique way of documenting life.

While digital cameras have their advantages, many photographers agree that there is something simply magical about shooting with a film camera. Whether it be the click of the shutter, the developing process or the timeless functionality of the original method, something keeps photography buffs from transitioning to new technology.

Mechanical engineering sophomore Luke Opitz first shot with film because it was affordable.

“I got into photography on a whim and on my own, so a $50 camera was much closer to my price range than a $500 DSLR camera with
multiple lenses,” Opitz said.

His limited budget turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as Opitz got a unique perspective on the world of photography. By only shooting with a film camera, his appreciation for the art and value of his time and work were maximized.

“I have an extremely limited number of pictures, so I have to make each one count. I can’t just click away. I like that I have to set up and think about every shot before I take it because I only get one chance,” Opitz said. “I like that I have to wait. I think it makes it more fun when the pictures finally come out because I get to remember and relive all those specific moments that were captured a few months ago.”

Even some digital camera devotees are catching on to the born-again trend of shooting with film.

Industrial engineering sophomore Jesse Morrison spends a lot of time shooting digitally. His photography involves a significant amount of Adobe Photoshop and processing. However, he agrees that film has a solid place in the world of photography.

“The skill of ‘getting it right’ is an essential aspect to any photographer’s skill set and is easily learned and reinforced through film photography,” Morrison said.

Morrison and a few friends decided to start a community of their own at Cal Poly. They shoot together with aspirations of improving their
photography skills.

“We wanted to make a way for people to share ideas and meet up to practice photography,” Morrison said.

Morrison and his friends formed the Cal Poly Photo Association last year and held their first meeting in Fall 2016. The club welcomes people of all photography experience and of digital and film shooting preferences.

While the club is currently working with Associated Students, Inc. to find a space for its future meetings this quarter, its Instagram page is up and running @polyphotoassn.

Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly said that the Photo Association’s Instagram handle was @PolyPhotoAssociation.

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