Since the first photograph taken with a camera wowed the world in the early 1800s, the medium has grown more powerful — and more accessible — as the tools of the trade have changed. From early daguerreotypes to tin types to Polaroids — what’s different about today’s digital tools is that they’ve enabled photography to become part of everyday life.
While digital photography offers instant gratification and the ability to bring pro tools to your fingertips, unlike other advances, it hasn’t made past techniques obsolete.
More photographers are putting down their smartphones or DSLR cameras in favor of shooting the old-fashioned way. (In fact, some never stopped shooting with film in the first place). Like vinyl, typewriters and other analog tech, film has an enduring, authentic appeal and is making a comeback among professionals and amateurs alike. The truly devoted are even hitting the darkroom themselves to develop their own prints.
Here’s a look at what’s galvanizing this 21st-century analog renaissance.