Film Photography Movement Goes Back To The Future: Medium-format/'120' Photography Experiences A Rebirth

Recent months have seen a rebirth in interest in film photography, especially in the once-rare medium format. 120processing.com is revolutionizing the traditional photo lab, processing film by mail and connecting photographers over the Internet.

  • Boston, MA-NH (1888PressRelease) May 24, 2011 - For several years, taking pictures has meant capturing digital images. But more and more photographers are turning back the clock in a return to film, and the landscape of photographic services is changing yet again to accommodate them.

    Surviving photo labs report a dramatic increase in inquiries about purchasing film and a renewed interest in traditional cameras, including primitive older cameras that have only recently begun to be manufactured again. Film aficionados have gone back in time even beyond the once-dominant 35mm to take up again the 120 format-also known as 'medium format.' "How do I love medium-format film? Let me count the ways," quipped Emily Scheideler, a customer at the Photosmith Imaging, a lab serving Dover, NH, for more than 30 years. Scheideler cited in particular the greater clarity of images captured on medium-format film.

    Since many labs no longer process film, new services have sprung up to serve the new generation of film lovers. The Photosmith's owner, Steve Frank, has begun an Internet-based mail-order film processing service to cater specifically to the new generation of film photographers, 120processing.com. "We want to make it easy-everyone's busy," Frank said. Interest has already been high in the service's first week, with a great deal of discussion among online discussion grops.

    Photography may be moving backward, but even film photography has been changed by the Internet era. Though 120processing.com's customers take their pictures on film, they can opt to have their negatives scanned so they can share their images online. And 120processing.com is using the Internet to create a community of medium-format photography lovers, posting tips on its Facebook page and automatically considering customers' photographs for a monthly contest with a prize of free services.

    Many of the new generation of film photographers seem to be not just resistant to digital photography but in rebellion against it. "People have gotten frustrated with the impersonality and blandness of digital images," says Steve Frank, the owner of Photosmith Imaging, an independent lab serving the greater Boston area for more than thirty years. "They're remembering what drew them to photography in the first place: personal control of expression."

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