Friday, August 9, 2013

Film is not dead.

Why do I love film so much? I will tell you why.

This is not a rant about how digital is inferior to film, or that film is way better than digital. I use both, and both have their place in photography. But it saddens me that so many new photographers know nothing about film, or have a negative (haha, get it?) attitude toward it, for example, they think it is obsolete or "dead", or pointless to learn. Yet, there are those who want to imitate the look of film on digital photos. Forgive me, but that seems hypocritical. Instead of paying cash to buy a program that will cook digital files into poor imitations of film, why not just shoot film?

Back to why I love film so much: besides the timeless quality and look of it, there is something very tangible and tactile about an image saved on an actual medium that does not consist of 1's and 0's. In my opinion, the process of loading film into a camera, taking the time to think about and dial in the settings for each shot, and waiting patiently for the entire roll to be finished, developed, and ultimately scanned and/or printed is exciting and motivating. When you finally get a look at those shots after all the time and love and care and waiting, it is like Christmas day. It is not for those with a short attention span, little patience, or for those seeking instant gratification. I understand. To each her/his own. And I acknowledge that without digital photography, most photographers (like Lone Star Lens!) would never have gotten into this art and honed their skills. I can definitely see how learning photography on film would be a challenge, since instant feedback is not there. But I just wish more of these new photographers would embrace film for its inherent qualities, accept its limitations, and consider adding this tool to their repertoire, instead of dismissing it along with the likes of Beta and VHS tapes. They might be surprised at just how much it would improve their critical thinking. With the cost of second hand film cameras, film, and processing on the low end these days, there really is no reason not to give it a try.

Just think that most great movies are shot on motion film, such as "Inception", for example. It is my belief that the movie industry will keep film production alive, at least into the foreseeable future. Also consider that many iconic photos of the 20th century were shot on film. Every photo of Marilyn Monroe, the Beatles, et al., was shot on film. How can anyone deny the impact? I guess some people fear what they don't understand. But I would implore those folks to open their minds and give it a try. Who knows, they just might like it. It would be an awful blow to the photography community if ignorance and indifference toward film caused it to completely die out.

My film stash

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