15 November 2020
I’ve been a photographer for 47 years and live in a small historic town/village called Fort Langley on the west coast of Canada near Vancouver. I shoot Fuji X Series cameras but also a selection of film cameras, some as much as 100 years old. I love shooting film and spending time coaxing the best out of an image in my darkroom. 

Several years ago I found myself shooting a scene of some kayakers from a bridge in the village. My camera of choice that day was my Contax 139 film camera. Sharing the same vantage point was a young fellow with his big Nikon DSLR banging away in rapid fire. After several minutes he turned to me and asked; "Is that film?" I answered it was and he responded; "Oh wow, I've never seen one before!" 

 We spent some time talking and he kept asking questions such as; "Where does the memory card go,” and “How do you get the pictures out of the camera?” He was loaded with such questions. Everything I said received the response; "Oh wow!" I asked if he would like to try it and he tentatively took a shot and then instinctively looked at the back of the camera. I laughed and said; “Uh, uh, you don't see anything until you develop the film!" His response of course was, “Oh wow!” He took a couple more shots as he was utterly fascinated with this concept of film. 

His name is Tad, a 22 year old graphic arts student from the local university. Tad grew up in the digital era. Everything was digital and it was all he knew, so this was a unique experience. I offered to email him the shots he took once I developed and digitized them to which he replied, you guessed it; “Oh wow!” 

Two days later I emailed the photos to Tad, not really expecting to get a response. He not only responded, but continued to pepper me with questions in utter fascination. His enthusiasm was unquenchable and I became his mentor into the world of film. Today, Tad lives in Toronto, Canada and he exclusively shoots film with his newly acquired Leica M6. 

Something happened with that encounter! It helped me to realize that not only is film making a comeback with former film shooters such as myself, but there is a younger ‘digital’ generation, who have never experienced shooting film, don’t understand what it is or how it works, and are intrigued by it. They enjoy the experience of doing something totally different, creating images without computers, using their own vision, and imagination all by using simple manual cameras that, in many instances, are older than they are. Today I meet a constant stream of ‘Tads’. Most are in their 20’s - 30’s while a few older ones are returning to film. This is not a unique phenomenon. Film photography is seeing a significant resurgence, with young adults being the primary driving force. Entirely new films are hitting the market and previously discontinued films are being resurrected. 

I refer to myself as a Hybrid Photographer because I shoot both digital and film, with the two worlds becoming intertwined when analogue images are digitized. Hybrid Photography makes film fun and affordable, while removing the need for a darkroom for those not so inclined.
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