Well, not really magic. But let’s admit, there’s something magical about the look and feel of film photography. There are several elements that come together to bring the nostalgic, old-school vibe of the medium. If you’re new to it, here’s an in-depth explanation of how film works. Learn what happens from the moment you take a shot to developing the roll to get those photos!

In the video above, Destin of SmarterEveryday talks about the magic — the cool chemistry, actually — that happens in film photography. The process is very different from digital photography. A roll of film is designed to capture light particles called photons when you take a shot with a film camera. They stay there as latent images until you develop the film, the process of which Destin also nicely explained in his video. He also showed what the images in a processed film negative look like under the microscope. Now we know where the term “grain” comes from!

Did all that got you even more curious about film photography? Destin also went to visit Indie Film Lab for a more in-depth view of the film development process. There, we also see how film labs handle every roll of film they get. It’s also great to get some insights from the people behind today’s film labs on why they think film is special and definitely not dead.

Looking for more film photography resources? Make sure you’ve already signed up in the Photofocus Community so you can join the discussions in our film photography group!