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The Romance of Shooting Film

By Adrian Zupp

Today everything is digital. From our computers to our phones to our cameras. The digital era has made things easier, faster and, generally, more efficient. But that isn’t to say that the “old ways” have been completely abandoned.

As you probably know, film photography is still around. It’s the minority shareholder at the meeting, that’s for sure. But it’s far from dead. And certainly not in Peter Lik’s world.

“It’s common knowledge that one of my favorite cameras is still my Linhof Technorama 617s III,” said Peter. “And I’ve shot some of my best images with it.”

Those images include: Angel’s Heart (Antelope Canyon, Arizona), Bamboo (Pipiwai Trail, Hana, Hawai’i), Tranquility (Mossbrae Falls, California), Echoes of Silence (Canyonlands National Park, Utah), Solace (Scripps Pier, La Jolla, California) and Mystic Valley (Yosemite National Park, California).

There is a romance to shooting in film. A nostalgia that is tied to the history and tradition of photography.

“I took my first shot when I was eight,” added Peter. “Of course, it was all film back then. And as I grew older it was a real pain in the arse – and expensive – to get roll after roll of film developed. And you never knew what you’d get. Some of the shots were no good at all. Digital has gotten rid of that problem. But I still love what I achieved back then and have a special feeling when I load a roll of film into my Linhof.”

Maybe it’s the challenge of it too. Because when Peter loads that film into his Linhof, it only has four shots on it. Four! So it’s a kind of a test. Like hang-gliding and other extreme sports. There’s no real need to do them, but they have a rush that appeals to our sense of adventure.

“I’ll probably always shoot some film,” concluded Peter. “It’s a big part of my career, so why stop now?”

Why indeed, when you can still produce classics the “old way” and get a rush doing it.

Posted on August 9, 2011 at 4:00 am



  1. I am fresh to photography and am still getting my mind wrapped around it using my digital. I do feel that film has a much more genuine feel to it, and will eventually venture into that territory when I feel I’m ready for it.
    On a side note I wish to send my appreciation to Mr.Lik and all of you for the inspiration you have instilled in me and many others. Being a musician I run almost purely off of being inspired by the masters and Peter has brought that inspiration to me now through photography. His enthusiasm for nature is awesome!

    P.S Will his show ever be available on DVD ?…I don’t have cable and would love to be able to watch it.

    Comment by Mark Welsford on August 26, 2011 at 1:31 pm

  2. Hi Mark. It’s great to hear when Peter inspires another photographer. You sound like a truly creative person. As for the TV show on DVD, that’s a Weather Channel decision, so we have our fingers crossed. And we can tell you, so do many people around the world, just like yourself. Thanks again.

    Comment by Staff Writer on August 31, 2011 at 1:28 pm

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