Film is the the Ultimate Master Medium
In this video, I share some of the key reasons why I believe that film is the ultimate master medium for photography in our modern digital world. I look forward to your comments and discussion below.
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Keywords: analog photography, black and white, darkroom, film, fine art, ilford, kodak, large format, photography, slide film
different process entirely. you have to be so much better with film. i shoot differently. i just cannot go out and shoot with a digital camera and then convert. when i have film i see in b&w. when i have digital i see in color. it is frustrating. i have only converted a handful of times. zooming lends itself to a vast array of good shots, but in the end i feel at least my work is soul less. there is such a connection to these mechanical cameras, and film. and i do not have access to a darkroom now, and i have not even been scanning as i have a outdated old scanner where the film is curled, but just in the shooting i feel so much more connected.
For me the bottom line is digital makes you lazy and you stop thinking. And why not, modern cameras are very good at doing most of the heavy lifting. Soon you become like the guy who leaned over my shoulder snapping 3 bracketed shots hand held, during a sunrise at Mono Lake, CA. I just had to give him a stare! Seriously...
On this last trip, I shot Ektar in the medium format, Arista EDU in my 4x5, and FP4+ and PanF in my old Canon A1 35mm (testing my new/used 28mm prime)
I carefully composed and thought about each frame. Knowing I had limited shots for the 3 days, made me very aware of lighting, composition, and exposure. With every shot done on a tripod.
And I do a hybrid process, developing my own film, scanning to digital, editing in PS5 and printing on a simple inkjet up to 13x19. One of these days I will have a keeper and will send it to a buddy to print large, 20x30 or so!
I love film!
The main differences for me between film and digital are 1.. The tonal latitude of film, detail in the shadow and highlight areas. 2.. With digital I feel the skin tones are less natural looking and that you get more character in skin tones by shooting film. I have seen some good beauty portraits shot using digital, but generally for my own work I prefer the character of the skin texture to come through. 3..I think with the introduction of higher resolution on camera phones, tablets etc.. the whole look of photography is starting to look cheap and throw away. Like you said in the video, photography (probably pre 2000) was likely better as more thought seemed to be attached to the final photograph. Whether that is because with film cameras you took more time to frame or the loading of film made you refresh and re-analyse the shot - I don't know the answer to that. But, digital is, for me, a faster form of communication and I do love it for that reason - but for taking photographs that I may want to view in the long term - i'll stick to film.
Hi Robert, thanks for commenting. I think the workflow you describe is quickly being discovered by all types of photographers. I personally can't imagine a normal person paying $80,000 USD for a high res digital back and camera system, when someone could do a drum scan on medium or large format film. The film camera never needs to be updated, which is a huge point in my opinion. My Nikon F and Leica M3 from the 50's still work just fine in 2015. Stay in touch.
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