|Parkleigh Crystals, Film from 2008|
What does a film camera give you that an equivalent digital camera can't? In a word: soft backgrounds. While most of the colored crystals in this image are sharply focused, the less-important elements are soft and de-focused. This adds emphasis to your main subject, and can help create a mood.
You can also get this effect with a digital SLR camera, or image-editing software like Picasa, which allows you to add some blur around the central subject of your photos.
There's something else a film camera provides that most digital cameras or cell-phone cameras cannot. A film camera slows you down. It makes you think about composition, and how light falls across your subjects. Experienced photographers understand that photography isn't always about snapping random images: it's about managing light and time, and taking time to consider what's in your viewfinder.
The photos below were captured with Kodak Ektar 100 or Gold 200 film, last considered "fresh" in 2009. They may not be the most enticing images ever captured, but they remind me and you that film never dies.