A snapshot of the past

As the world continues to move toward digital music, movies and photography, Anthony DeLorenzo is going against the tide.

As the world continues to move toward digital music, movies and photography, Anthony DeLorenzo is going against the tide.

The Whitehorse photographer has lugged his film cameras around since 2012, after going digital for several years.

He was recently shortlisted in a global photography competition, FotoFilmic’16, which is devoted to film and analog practices.

The final winners will have their photographs displayed in a travelling exhibit that will go to Los Angeles, Melbourne and Vancouver.

As vinyl records and board games continue to enjoy a resurgence in popularity, so does film photography.

DeLorenzo said he decided to give it a shot when he realized the art form wasn’t going to be around forever.

“I played around with it at first and then switched completely,” he said.

“I don’t even own a digital camera anymore, except for the one on my phone.”

Today he owns about a half dozen film cameras. His favourite is a large-format Speed Graphic that takes four-by-five inch photos, which he uses primarily for landscape shots.

With today’s smartphones and digital cameras, it’s become all too easy to snap and delete pictures at will.

A 32-gigabyte memory card can hold upwards of 10,000 pictures.

But with the Speed Graphic, as DeLorenzo explains, it’s all about being methodical and setting up the shot.

A typical roll of film only holds 24 exposures. DeLorenzo’s medium-format Fuji camera uses 15-exposure film.

“It takes a long time and I have to use a tripod with it,” he said.

“But the prints I make with it are the best.”

DeLorenzo built his own darkroom at home, which also doubles as his laundry room.

Through trial and error, he learned how to develop his own photos. Learning how to operate the cameras was difficult at first, he said.

“I’ve screwed up everything at least once,” he said.

“I haven’t loaded the film properly into the camera and into the development tank. I’ve ruined sheets of film by exposing them to light.

“But I’m getting more and more consistent.”

DeLorenzo takes his film cameras along when he goes on adventures. His favourite spot is the Carcross area, and especially Montana Mountain, where he’s taken an interest in its silver mining history.

“I could happily takes pictures there and nowhere else, and be happy.”

For this competition, DeLorenzo submitted pictures that were taken at Kluane National Park and during a trip he took with some friends to the Northwest Territories last summer.

He and three of his friends traveled over 500 kilometres as they paddled the Tsichu, Keele and Carcajou Rivers before hiking the Canol Heritage Trail to Norman Wells.

DeLorenzo packed about 40 rolls of film for the trip and estimates that he shot an average of two to three rolls per day.

He kept his cameras in dry bags, often having to multi-task between adjusting the settings and making sure he wasn’t drifting into rapids, he said.

“It meant a lot of time in the darkroom when I got back but it was relaxing,” he said.

“It’s also surprising to look back at the images you took.”

One of the benefits of film photography, DeLorenzo said, is having a tangible record of the pictures he’s taken.

Technology isn’t meant to last forever – a simple knock on an external hard drive could destroy thousands of files.

“I go through the whole process of shooting the film, developing it and making a print,” he said.

“You feel like you’ve actually made a photograph there.”

DeLorenzo’s passion for film photography has even transferred to his family. In November, he and his wife Sierra had a son. They named him Kodak.

DeLorenzo will be making a presentation to the Whitehorse Photography Club next Tuesday evening at 7 p.m., at the Whitehorse Public Library, about shooting film in a digital age.

Contact Myles Dolphin at


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