Films, The Story Of Mine – By Anton Candra

(I write this in response to article in the Economist The End Of Analogue Film)

Film photography, first time I heard someone talked about it, I was thinking ” …why are people still interested in these things?”


I believe I am not the only one who was thinking that way, I also believe some of my readers, here, at this very instant, wonder “yes, why indeed?”. Just look at those great pictures taken by various type of digital cameras nowadays, this kind of question is inevitable. Even most of compact cameras have the capability to give astonishing result. Fujifilm X series, Nikon V series, many types of Olympus mirorless, Sony Nex series and godly RX1, Leica X1 or X2, etc. Those are few types on which people can completely rely in any circumstances. I mean seriously, they are versatile, unbeatable ease of use, amazing image quality, anything we mention, they had it.

Nitae - Jimbaran Bali ( Vday )(Digital SLR Nikon D700)

Even better, if we were truly that much serious in looking for the ultimate gears to assist us to create great images ( and have the resources to acquire what we wanted ) there are always numbers of well respected digital cameras in the market to choose from. Nikon with its new D600/D800/D4, the glorious Leica M9 and its most anticipated new M, Canon and its most sought after 1DX/5Dmark3 , not forget to mention the honorary Leica Monochrome with which we can get unbeatable quality of digital black and white pictures.

Leica M Monochrome / Summicron 50mm Rigid(Digital M Monochrome)

M9 / Summilux 50mm ASPH(Digital Leica M9)

For those who do not know me, I am a digital-born shooter ( not much a photographer ). I have known my way of shooting from digital camera, whatever thing that made me fall in love with photography was digital camera, I learned basic shooting from digital camera, what makes me the way I am today is digital camera, what created my urge to switch to film is digital camera, most importantly what assists me in learning film is, you bet… camera.

So there is no way to say that I will not live my life in digital. Even in this blog of mine, I would not dare to mention even a slightest flaw or condescending comparison between digital and film. Please do not bear a thought that in my next paragraph I would bash on digital and talk films up, because I will not and I assure either of which will not be found here. The fact is, I myself have a confidence that digital cameras are indeed the effective tools in creating any great images.

After all these talks about the superiority of digital, so then why indeed I love film?

Great images, I mention it few times on my previous paragraph, are the goal in pursuits of photography. They are what most photographers wanted because it simply reflects how good we are in this photography thing. However, this is the counter-objective why I love film, simply because it is NOT my goal. In this situation of mine, It is never about the pictures.

One thing I love about my doing photography is its process. To put it into my consideration, the pictures are just  complementary. Anyway I do not take great pictures that often, I do not either get rewarded whatsoever from it (apart from few likes receieved from my social network friends). Not every single shot of mine is great. I took great shot occasionally, good shot sometimes, bad shot plenty of times, hopeless shot countless times. But the process of capturing it has always been the same regardless the result….it is all always about the fun.


direct scan - Leica M3 / Rigid / ilford HP5 400(135 Ilford HP5 Leica M3)

It just happens that film involves, if I may say, more interesting process. In digital camera, the shooting, developing, printing, all could be summarized in a matter of instant. Shooting film makes me feel more involvement in creating pictures in a much deeper sense. I walked to find certain film-type in the market, when I found it I felt so excited. The next thing, I loaded it into my camera, almost felt like I was being motivated to finish it. When I did finish it, I dropped it to film-lab and I needed to wait (very curiously) few days before I got the result. When I hold the result from the lab, I still had not got the luxury to see my pictures just yet because I still needed to scan it myself. Then, it came the day when I was able to see how they really look like in front of my computer, and I feel so much appreciate it (regardless if it’s good or bad shot). This kind of feeling I would NEVER get from shooting digital.

It almost feels like you’re having  your grilled fish you struggled and caught yourself during fishing trip as a dinner. Although actually it tastes almost next to tasteless, but still it tastes better than the grilled onion-ginger-butter fish you’re having in fanciest restaurant in town. Just imagine when it comes the day we’re able to create our own grilled-onion-ginger-butter fish that we struggle and caught ourselves i.e. an amazing film shot that no digital can match….one day. So in this case of mine, the processes overweigh the result.

120 Kodak TriX 400 - Rolleiflex 2.8FX(120 Kodak TMax400, Rolleiflex 2.8FX)

Leica M3 / Summicron Rigid 50mm / ilford HP5 400(135 Ilford HP5, LeicaM3)

120 Kodak TriX 400 - Rolleiflex 2.8FX(120 Kodak Tmax400, Rolleiflex 2.8FX)

120 Kodak Portra 400 - Rolleiflex 2.8FX(120 Kodak Portra400, Rolleiflex 2.8FX)

120 Kodak Tmax 400 - Rolleiflex 2.8FX(120 Kodak Tmax400, Rolleiflex 2.8FX)

120Fuji160S + Rolleiflex 2.8FX(120 Fuji Pro S160, Rolleiflex 2.8FX)

This is my story, my own kind of life and how my effort to enjoy it in a way that may not be the same as the others’. So I would not assume that my idea would work well for other people, either I would not suggest anything regarding this matter. Priorities are diverse among people. Digital is all about effectivity and speed……. film is about a choice, a joyful experience, and an unbeatable feeling kinds of reward. I truly hope my writing could encourage or least inspire people to try film and when they say today is the end of the analogue, we can tell the world otherwise.

Thank you again for visiting my blog, I so much appreciate it. I do feel very grateful you enjoy it.


(This is my chance to say thank you to some of friends to whom I owe my gratitude in encouraging me in this film thing.

1. Nathan Santoso : A great guy, he was the first person to give me an idea to try film media, gave me valuable informations regarding gears and stuff that enabled me to move forward. A leica walking compendium  that’s what I call him. Should you have any question regarding leica gears, he is the guy you’re looking for.

2. Mike Liang : Another great guy, he was the one who gave me encouragement, the day I almost gave up film,  he was there to convince that I made the right decision and should finish what I started. A great photographer and great friend.)


About Anton Candra

Thanks for dropping by, click one of my sites and you will find out about me :)
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4 Responses to Films, The Story Of Mine – By Anton Candra

  1. wi2 says:

    Hey Anton,you made a good transition my friend (even we’re never meet before each other) but we’re on the same boat,,with digital you could shoot like using machine gun and create a thousand picture per day,but what’s the point?what would you do with all those fu****ing files?stay in front of you computer whole day and do post production to make your digital files looks better?are you dare to upload or print your m9,d700,d4,1dx,etc direct straight out of camera?with film we create a craft,a picture that speak a thousand words,film is simple,film is easy all you need is just drag the shutter,and drop the negative to the lab,an illustrator that create illustration from downloading vector are different from an illustrator that create a piece of art with drawing from the sketch,so is all depend on your choice,and you have made a good choice my friend. “sorry for my english”

    • Anton Candra says:

      hi Wi2, really it is nice to meet pro photographer such as yourself, really appreciate your visiting my blog, very much obliged. I have great respect for digital and not much less respect for film. When it comes to authenticity, I second your opinion and agree every bit of it. Of course there are also privileges why they prefer one to another type of media. So I must say it is more than just a matter of picking a right horse for the right course, choosing film is like we breed the horse in more conventional way to win the course, and at the end it is who first reach the finish line that really matters. Thanks again Wi2, you have a great photostream, I love it.

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