Elgin photographer insists film is not a lost art form

Chris (left) has produced stunning results from his experiments in photography

A FORMER ELGIN Academy pupil who has been travelling Europe as he pursues new adventures in his career as a photographer has found a new interest in methods that were thought to be consigned to history.

Chris Milne went south to study the art of taking pictures – and has been posting a steady series of stunning images from his travels around Europe in the years since catching a train from to Moray to Edinburgh.

The talented snapper and his trusty digital camera has produced some stunning images along the way – while recording his travels in an online blog. Never afraid to take on new and challenging tasks, Chris has revealed that his latest love very much has its root in ‘Old School’ technology.

He explains: “Recently my lecturer gave me an old film camera out of the blue, which was perfect because I had been wanting to shoot on film for a while.

“The next day I went out and bought my first roll of film and started shooting, a roll of film which would end up being ruined by the rookie mistake of exposing the film to light. I mainly use it for social situations to keep all the memories without having to carry my heavy camera around with me all the time – and my friends soon started asking me why I like to shoot film and it made me think.

“There feels like an intrinsic feeling but sometimes it is worth thinking about it and exploring the reasons you find it fun.

“With everything increasingly going digital, all the messages from friends and photos are online and as a result, I rarely go back to look at them. Even when you do, it feels like there is something missing, the strength of emotion – something quite raw and unique!

“So now I travel with a journal for people to write in any random page with their name and date when I meet them. The idea – when the book is full, it will be full of disordered memories.”

Chris goes on to explain that the result is he has now looked back at the book more times than he does any Facebook message or email.

“As a photographer [using film] makes you appreciate the full process of taking a picture in many ways,” he explains, adding: “Initially, you decide whether a moment is worth capturing and if so, put your full concentration on it.

“Each element – the shutter speed, aperture and focus have to be physically changed and it all requires more attention. The result – that beautiful sound of clunky mechanics working independently to, for a brief moment, let in light and physically burn the moment on photosensitive film. The silence is then broken by cranking the lever to wind the roll of film primed to capture the next photograph.

“Now, having worked in event and nightclub photography a lot, people often want to see the picture or maybe retake to try a different pose – with film, there is none of that and your attention is immediately back to carrying on with your life.

“The vivid descriptions are everything about the process that I love – having to wait a few days or weeks to see the pictures, no problem!”

Chris’ full blog will be of interest to amateur and professional photographers in Moray and can be found online at http://chrismilne.co/why-i-shoot-film/ where much of his work can also be viewed.