Like many photography buffs, Rob Cowan bought a digital camera as soon as they came out a couple decades ago. He loved its instantaneous results and the freedom it gave him to shoot unlimited images until he achieved the perfect shot.

Then about six years ago, the 39-year-old San Diego resident got bored with digital photography for the very same reasons. Where was the challenge, the thought process and the artistry? So he returned to traditional film photography and never looked back.

“It has its own feeling,” he said. “It’s tangible. You can hold on to it and see it in front of your eyes.”

Cowan is not alone. Over the past five years, millions of Americans have re-embraced or newly discovered the old-school art of film photography. Sales of Kodak roll film doubled from 2014 to 2019 and the value of used film cameras has skyrocketed.

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