So first up, we need to define what we’re talking about when we bring what “looks like film” into the conversation.
To me, it’s a slight roughness around the edges, imperfections in tone, and perhaps a general softness. Contrary to popular opinion, none of these really have anything to do with film though, funnily enough: often we romanticise those things, but they weren’t at all unique to analogue as a medium, but instead (if we wanna be pedantic) the result of error: expired film, old scratched lenses, out-of-focus shots, light leaks, the list goes on.
Nevertheless, they’re qualities that we associate with analogue, and they give us a good starting language of things we can look for when we start asking how we can start looking at our raw files in different ways and use these perfect piece of gear to bring something a little softer to the table.
I wanted to share 5 ways that I personally use digital cameras as a base, rather than taking the digital file as it is. This gives us the incredible workflow and safety benefits of digital, along with the chance to take a more interpretive approach to how we’re creating images.