The Best of the Year: 2020 Year in Review From a Film Photographer

The year 2020 has been, for a majority of people, an absolutely bizarre year that few (no one?) would want to relive. For this film photographer, here are the best things from 2020: the best expensive gear, cheap gear, inspirations, etc.  

In this video, Kyle McDougall walks us through the best things of 2020 for him. This includes the best non-film-specific gear, best film-specific work, best cheap gear, and several sources of inspiration he's found throughout the year. Similar to McDougall, my year started off with traveling and a good outlook on the year. Additionally, my best piece of gear I acquired this year was a new computer, after which I relegated my 2010 Macbook Pro I had been using for more than 10 years. I would have to say that my second favorite piece of gear I purchased this year was my 80mm f/1.9 for my Mamiya 645 Pro TL. It's a lens I've really grown to love. 

The dumpster fire that has been 2020 has been very challenging for photography in general and film photographers specifically. There are many of our fellow photographers whose livelihoods are photography who may well have struggled due to restrictions put in place this year in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19. Stepping back a bit and looking at 2020 from a more global perspective of film, it's been nowhere near as good of a year as 2019, which was a great year for film photography. 

James Madison's picture

Madison is a mathematician turned statistician based out of Columbus, OH. He fell back in love with film years ago while living in Charleston, SC and hasn't looked back since. In early 2019 he started a website about film photography.

Log in or register to post comments
1 Comment

James Madison said:

"The year 2020 has been, for a majority of people, an absolutely bizarre year that few (no one?) would want to relive."


I am one who would gladly relive 2020. I had more lucrative employment in 2020 than I have had in many years. I also got to travel a lot in 2020, with 4 big road trips for wildlife photography to different parts of the country.

The whole COVID thing really had no affect on my life, except that at a few places I traveled to, I wasn't able to eat at restaurants, and had to order take-out instead, and eat back at the hotel room (but most of the places I traveled to had restaurants that were open). That's really the only inconvenience I have experienced in 2020. Would relive the year in a heartbeat ...... I can only hope that 2021 will be as good.