No, absolutely not! Film photography is not dead, but having that film developed has become more difficult. In the Bay Area camera shops like Shutterbug in Santa Rosa, Seawood Photo in San Rafael, Looking Glass in Berkeley, and Fireside in San Francisco all send their film out to Swan Photo Lab in Southern California.

Swan can develop and print both color and black/white film, or process color slides/positive film as well. They aren’t the fastest and the costs are higher than back in the 90s, but their work is consistently good quality. I used Swan when I had my own camera store PICS in San Rafael. They have a good customer service department, and they run control tests to assure dependable results.

As far as purchasing supplies go, the camera stores I already listed can help you. My personal favorite is an online supplier, Freestyle Photo Supplies in Los Angeles. You can visit their website here: or call them at 800-292-6137. Plus they also have a store on the sunset strip in Los Angeles.

Freestyle has everything! They sell film from almost everyone, even a new company called Impossible Projects, who makes the old Polaroid film. They also sell paper, chemicals, and darkroom supplies. They have their own catalog that’s free and a lot of cool items you won’t see anywhere else.

For film cameras, there is only one place to go in my mind:  They are the largest broker of film cameras in the world, and most of what they sell comes with a warranty. I have been buying from them for over twenty years, both film and digital items. If you want to buy local check the KEH for a price first. Items are marked Ugly to Mint condition, just don’t buy the Ugly!

For reasons why you might still want to shoot film over digital, check out my blog for information on exposure latitude and dynamic range.