Film photography isn't just expensive – it's bad for the planet, too

Close-up of sprockets of analog 35mm film
(Image credit: Thomas Kinto on Unsplash)

Film photography is a timeless medium that has had a resurgence in the last few years. Despite the cost of film and development rising, people are still drawn to the beautiful surprise that analog photography brings. However, aside from being a pretty pricey hobby, film photography has several negative environmental impacts and might not be as sustainable as you think. These issues are addressed in a great new film, just released by The Boston Scope.

To fully understand how film photography might impact the world, we first have to understand what it’s made from. Photographic film is made using a transparent strip of film base coated in a gelatin emulsion, containing light-sensitive silver halide crystals. The size of these crystals determines the sensitivity (ISO), contrast and resolution of the film, and gives the best film such as Porta 400 or Kodak 200 its signature aesthetic. 

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Hannah Rooke
Staff Writer

Having studied Journalism and Public Relations at the University of the West of England Hannah developed a love for photography through a module on photojournalism. She specializes in Portrait, Fashion and lifestyle photography but has more recently branched out in the world of stylized product photography. For the last 3 years Hannah has worked at Wex Photo Video as a Senior Sales Assistant using her experience and knowledge of cameras to help people buy the equipment that is right for them. With 5 years experience working with studio lighting, Hannah has run many successful workshops teaching people how to use different lighting setups.