Why I shoot Black & White Film.
It’s slow. It’s inconvenient. It’s expensive. Yet, in 2018 I still shoot film. Hello my name is Ramon Jamar and I’m a film photographer based out of Baltimore in the US.
I downloaded the Instagram app back in late 2015. Before that I never had much interest in photography; the only camera that I owned was my phone. The app opened my eyes, it sorta woke the creative soul in me.
Initially I started shooting with a digital camera, like everyone else these days. But I began to notice a lot of the photographers I followed and images I was drawn too were shot on film; specifically black and white film.
Without even realizing it, I’ve always been attracted to black and white film. I love watching old black and white movies and all of the photo books I owned were vintage and in black and white. Since I never shot film I started doing some research and within year of buying my first real camera I sold it and purchased a Mamiya RZ67 and I haven’t shot with a digital camera since.
I know it’s cliche to say, that the camera doesn’t matter, but fuck it, it’s so true. You have to work with the tools and within the medium that you connect with organically. For me that’s creating black and white images on old film cameras. I don’t if it’s the nostalgic feeling I get when I shoot with a film camera or the simplicity of removing distractions...but I’m connect to creating these type of images.
Over the last couple of years I’ve bought and sold many film cameras, but shooting on black and white film remains my true love. I can easily develop and scan the negatives at home; allowing me to be apart of the process from beginning to end. There’s nothing quite like hanging your negatives and getting a glimpse of what you’ve captured.
Why do I shoot black and white film? I love the simplicity. I love the emotion. I love the timeless quality. I realize black and white images doesn’t receive the same engagement as color photos on social media; but at the end of the day you have to be yourself and let the chips fall where they may. Hi my name is Ramon Jamar and I love black and white film.
All images and words by Ramon Jamar. If you have any questions for him, leave them in the question box below.