During film photography, a roll of light-sensitive film is placed within the camera. When the shutter of the camera is open, the film is exposed to light and an impression is captured. After the exposure is made, the photographer rolls the film forward so a fresh section of unexposed film is ready for the next photo. In some manual cameras, you can roll the film backward and shoot over the same piece of film multiple times to create a double exposure. When the roll has all been shot, it’s removed from the camera and developed.
“One important thing to realize about digital cameras is that the brand of camera, like Nikon or Canon, doesn’t really matter; your image will kind of look the same. And by the time people start editing photos, it’s difficult to tell what kind of camera that came from,” explains Mills. “With film, however, the cameras and the film all give different looks. And they all function a little bit differently.”
Many photographers use a Single Lens Reflex (SLR) camera for their film photography, which uses a mirror and prism to create an exposure. The inner workings of these cameras allow photographers to look through the viewfinder and lens to see what will be captured within the frame. SLR cameras come in different formats, including 35mm cameras, medium format, and large format. These formats translate to the size of the physical film that fits in the camera. And the larger the film negative, the better the resolution of your final image. For smaller formats, like 35mm, the film grain will be more noticeable on the printed image.