So I went to Long’s Drugs because I wanted to develop some film. (A roll of film and a disposable film camera to be exact.) I usually go to Long’s because it’s in town and they have all their equipment in store so it generally takes an hour for the film to develop. But as I was walking toward the store, I noticed a bunch of photo developing equipment and machinery outside in the parking lot, meaning they were throwing them away. So I thought to myself either they’re getting new equipment or they’re discontinuing developing film in house.
In the photo area, there was a bunch of boxes as if they were packing and unpacking. A worker came up to me, asked if I needed help and I told him that I wanted to develop some film. He told me they were not going to develop film in house anymore so they are either going to ship the film to Oahu or the mainland from now on. I was quite sad to hear that but the worker’s eyes were so blue and beautiful that I was mesmerized by them. So the news didn’t hit me that hard at first. I’m not one of those people who look at others in the eyes during conversation, but my goodness I couldn’t stop staring at his. It wasn’t like a normal blue, it was sorta like a deep blue, like the ocean during a sunny afternoon. His eyes were calming and I couldn’t look away.
But anyways, as I was going back to the car I saw those equipment again. I had the urge to take all of them and I don’t know why. It’s not like I can use it or know how to use it. I guess I just didn’t want film development to die so to speak. Like I know film is not being widely used anymore – not like before – but there are people that still shoot in film.
And I love shooting in film, even though I don’t do it that enough. I just take a picture with my iPhone or my point and shoot camera. I hardly even use my dSLR because it’s too big and heavy to carry around with me everywhere. But I miss it. I miss my dSLR. I miss shooting in film often. I mean I still can shoot and use film but my film SLR camera is even heavier than my dSLR. And developing it is a different story. Now I only know of Costco that does it in house developing that takes roughly an hour. Everywhere else – Walmart and now Longs – needs to ship the film elsewhere for development.
Seeing all equipment and machinery piled out there like it was junk made me realize that an era is dying. The era of film photography is slowly dying. Some might think it’s already dead but I don’t really believe that.
I do believe there will be a time where there will be no film being sold or used and people will sell their (probably expired) film online for a ridiculous amount because of that. I don’t think that will happen in my time; well, I hope it doesn’t.
I look at the SLR camera my dad handed down to me and the regular film camera my sister handed down to me also and I think about how time changes. I actually have four film cameras – two SLRs and two regular – and I hope to pass down the passion of film and film photography to my future children, and maybe my niece.
There’s nothing wrong with using an iPhone or smartphone or tablet or a digital camera to take photographs. But there’s nothing like the feeling of knowing you’ve finished a roll of film and the excitement you have when you’re dropping it off for development and when you’re picking it up once it’s developed and looking through all the photos you’ve taken. I love that feeling.
I want to keep film alive for a little while longer. And I’m thankful for all the people out there doing just that. Because as long as people – no matter how little – are still shooting in film, film can’t die. And I don’t think should.