Tuesday, May 31, 2011

How much longer can photographic film hold on?

Yoda would prefer photographic film over digital., wdsiemerii

How much longer can photographic film hold on?
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AP By BEN DOBBIN - Associated Press | AP – 6 hours ago

I was wondering the same thing yesterday. I was organizing my belongings and came across my Nikon SLR camera along with some film. I thought about loading it up, but it seemed like too much hassle when all I needed to do was flip the "on" switch of my Canon DSLR to start shooting.

I believe hardcore photographers will continue to use film, if not for preference, then for nostalgia. The hands-on process of developing film in a darkroom through the use of chemicals and filters is more labor, but it can be more rewarding. It's the difference between building a chair versus buying the chair pre-made. There is so much more pride in something you build with tools from scratch.

Developing photographic film is definitely a dying art. Even photo labs have to remind people, "We still develop rolls of film." The cost of equipment and developing can be overwhelming. I remember a lot of Photography majors in college taking up gigs at weddings just to pay the bills to do their inspired creative work "on the side."

Digital cameras have made everyone photographers. I don't necessarily mean this in a negative way. The digital revolution has made photography more mainstream and accessible. Many "amateur" photographers are adding great collections to the library of internet archives.

It's all about the ease of usability. A user can insert a SD Card to hold thousands of photos, choose automatic presets, upload the photos into Photoshop or Camera Raw for editing, archive them into digital libraries, or print them on high-quality photo paper straight from their home office printer. It's convenient and simplified.

I have gone the digital road. I have limited formal training; I'm really just a guy who likes to take photos. However, it still takes a lot of time and effort to work digitally. Some of the edits can be performed through actions, color corrections and batch automated processed to make it quicker, but a lot take more careful individual attention.

I remember all the problems I had with developing rolls of film--having difficulty winding the film onto a roll for development in the darkroom, the waiting time for cleansing, not mixing the chemicals correctly, not allowing enough time between chemicals, filters, problems with the initial shots being unfocused or overlapping on the roll, etc. etc. I lost my patience.

Photographic film has already lost its hold on me.


Side note: Along the same lines of photographic film... I like how before the start of the Red's games on radio, the announcer say, "If you're taking down today's starting line-up..." And throughout the games they inform you how to score it as if many people have a pencil and scorecard. I think it's great. It's reminiscent of an earlier generation. How much longer can baseball score keeping hold on?

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