A VERY RELEVANT SURVEY

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by David Lyga, Jun 13, 2012.

  1. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

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    I think that it almost becomes mandatory to know just how old the members and subscribers of both APUG.ORG and PHOTO.NET are in order to develop an understanding as to whether 'film' is here to stay or is truly dying out. Collectively, we love to wax about our love for analog but our mantras usually lack quantitative affirmation. Folks, there is NOTHING like knowing that YOUNG people are immersed into this method of capture and not only the 'old ones' who stay with it through familiarity and habit.

    I am 62 and grew up with analog capture. As a teenager I had 'no choice' in the matter. Thus, it is easy for me to be such a diehard. But I would be intrigued if people under, say 35 or 30, can attempt to honestly say that they feel likewise. When I say this I mean GENUINELY feel likewise and not simply enthralled with 'something new' as opposed to the pervasive digital environment. For this younger age: you genuinely had a choice when you got your first 'serious' camera, as 'serious' still digital has been with us for about 15 long years. You did not have only one option.

    Be honest with your assertion. And, obviously, the older ones need to state their (approximate) age in order to give balance to this survey. Am I prying too much? Am I asking for something not relevant? I think not. - David Lyga
     
  2. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    I'm 37. I first learnt the process from my dad when I was very young. He photographed the family with B&W film and Kodachrome. Most friday nights he'd print B&W and I'd watch. I used to love going to the photo stores with him at the time when he'd buy materials. The stores had shelves and shelves of every chemical, film, paper and darkroom gizmo you could imagine. And of course I thought my dad's Leica was the coolest.

    To be honest, if young people are to be interested in analog, I think the hope lies in hybrid processes - ie digital capture and wet-printing enlarged digital negatives. Personally I love using film, but I assume to the average young photography buff today, film processing might just seem like an unnecessary old pain in the ass. However the idea of using digital negatives to make all kinds of interesting analog prints using different processes might be more interesting to them. First, there are processes which can't really be duplicated with digital output (at least for now). Second, it gives more serious practitioners the satisfaction of producing a hand-made, fairly unique final product (which might have more prestige ?? too).

    There was a lengthy thread on hybrid processes a while back. Bob Carnie was a key contributor to that thread and noted it seemed to be easier to get young people excited about hybrid processes.
     
  3. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hi david

    i am 46 and i started using film when i was around 5 ...
    i didn't start to process my own until i was about 12.
    i have been shooting professionally since about 1988 ..
    done newspaper and magazine work since then ( film and later digital )
    and printed professionally for a portrait photographer and others since in 88'.
    in around 91' i finished a graduate degree in preservationplanning
    and began to couple the photography i had been doing ( portraits, architectural and site work
    and hand stitched books ) with preservation planning, commercial + industrial archaeology, and started to
    submit sheet film and contact prints ( and 35mm film and 5x7 enlargements, and later files and
    ink prints ) to federal and state archives ... i've also had work submitted and published
    for guinness book of world records.

    why do i use film? i think it is because i can ... and i have some on hand.
    when it goes ... commercial clients already want digital images and the preservation world does too, that's OK i don't mind doing digital work, its kind of freeing
    not having to be in a darkroom processing and printing for other people ...
    i would rather keep doing it for me --- cameraless prints, glass-stuff, home made emulsions, cyanotypes, retinas ( unstable chemical free prints )
    maybe heilographs and physautotypes ( they look fun ) lumi paints, ... i don't mind the hybrid workflow ...

    film and paper won't be unavailable anytime soon.
    they have been saying the sky is falling since the late 1980s and it hasn't fallen yet .... and its 2012

    john
     
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  4. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    I am 37. Started 7 years ago after I have seen first hand made silver gelatin print from my negative - immediately I knew that this is right path for me. Tried digital, tried color photography - not for me.
     
  5. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    on a purely anecdotal basis, I've been observing a good number of folks joining here and posting in the "Introduce yourself" thread who are under 30, often under 25. So, without firm statistics to back this idea up, I'd say there is definite interest in analog processes from young people. And I'm all for anything that gets them in the door... once you try one step, you'll be interested in trying another, and another. That's how I ended up where I did (well, minus the starting with digital bit). First it was black-and-white. Then color. Then 35mm (I know, I'm wierd, I started off with medium format), then large format. Digital poked its head in the door back in the mid-90s, but was not terribly satisfying for a host of reasons. Then alternative processes (platinum/palladium) when there was the big "Ilford might go under" scare. Now ultra-large format. And wet plate, and gum bichromate, and... you get the picture. Next up to try is albumen and salt printing.
     
  6. Darkroom317

    Darkroom317 Member

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    I am 22. I started shooting color negative film when I was 13. It really picked up when I was 17 though. I used to find that when I scanned my film I liked the images in B&W better than color. But, I did finally love color when I started using slide film when I was 18. At this time I started using B&W film and sending it out. I didn't like the developing quality of the lab and I didn't like my pigment prints from my inkjet printer.

    I bought up darkroom equipment when I was 18. But, I didn't want to waste chemicals and paper. My grandfather had his own darkroom and said that this happened a lot. So, I took a Photo I in the summer of 2009.I also started shooting medium format right before this. It really confused the other students when they saw the larger film. I learned the very basics of film processing and printing. I finally finished my darkroom later that year. Over the next 2.5 years through this website, I've learned far more advanced techniques and I have began using the zone system.

    The university art program that I transferred to after community college won't accept photo credit from other schools, particularly the one I went to. So, I asked the photo professor if he would give me credit if I showed him my portfolio. He said yes, but it would have to be good. I went to make an appointment with him before one of his classes. In front of the class he took the portfolio from my hands and started going through it. I was afraid. But after a couple of minutes. He looked up at me said "you know what you are doing." Then he went downstairs to grab the paperwork. I had put a lot of independent effort into that portfolio. Quite a few students I've heard whine about using film. But I really do enjoy it.
     
  7. wilfbiffherb

    wilfbiffherb Member

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    im 27 and have been shooting for about 2 years. i now develop my own colour and b+w filma nd am looking into getting an enlarger for printing. i have never liked digital.
     
  8. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    Easing your fears, I'm 27. Dad shot a lot when I was growing up, always let me have a camera as well (point and shoots and slrs). No darkroom at home though growing up (though my dad had one in his home country). grandpa also was a shooter(I have a retina iiic and a canon ftb from him) but both did it as a hobby. Also i did a fair amount of shooting on aps cameras and digital too (sony mavica when they first came out with 3.5" floppy memory) did photoshop really early like ver. 5 learning from my brother(8 years older) who did graphic design and commercial printing for a bit. I still shoot digi for side gigs and events to supplement income. I didn't go to school for photography, I studied anthropology and business and then got my MBA. Fell into teaching photoshop and the darkroom part time as I had the experience. Now I'm the interim director for the arts and media program at a non profit. Still teaching the kids, interns, and volunteers the photographic process spanning from pinhole to the wet darkroom and from digi capture to digital pp in photoshop and the rest of the adobe suite on a daily basis. Also I do a bit of hd video and editing. Have my own permanent darkroom in the basement, and shoot everything from half frame to 6x9, b&w exclusively. Limited now though to mf as my lpl670xl can't go larger. I'm a tinkerer and have fixed many cameras and lenses as well. I shoot a mixture of films, commercial and hand rolled as well, cine stock and graphic. I photograph mainly street, what better place is there to than NYC? Im spread over a few systems, but mainly Olympus and nikon slrs, various range finders, canon ef digi. Favs to shoot are my om4t's, f3hp's, super ikonta iv, my new fuji gw690ii, and the trigger wind canons rfs. The 24-28mm range is where I am most comfortable, 40-50 is ok as well. That's about it so far.
     
  9. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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  10. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    I am 41 , photographer since 9 years of age. I met with Ansel Adams catalogs at 18 , William Henry Jackson photographs at 15. My all childhood photograps are excellent and Kodachrome. We have two architects , 3 professional photographers in the family and my mother bought me 250 or so art journals when I was 10. Art was always in presence in the Family.
     
  11. amsp

    amsp Member

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    I'm 33, bought my first film camera when I was ~12yo, started shooting digital in the early 2000s, went all digital around 2006. Then late last year I started getting really bored with digital for many different reasons, bought a Hassy and now I'm feeling excited again. Can't wait to get back into making prints and trying out larger formats.
     
  12. rthomas

    rthomas Member

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    I'm 41. Last school year, 2011-2012, I took a pair of photo courses at my community college (mainly to get access to the darkroom). The classes were full of young people, mostly under 25 and the upper teens, who own digital and film cameras. In the Fall semester there was one combined section of Photo 1 and Photo 2, but this Spring the school ran two combined sections of each, and both classes filled up. It's true that some people dropped out but not that many. I can tell you from first-hand experience, these students have a lot of enthusiasm for the complete analog process.
     
  13. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    i'm an old farth (58), deeply submetged an very comfortable with all qspects of analog photography.however i find the additional flexibility of working with digital negatives a welcome additionto the creative process!



    0
     
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  15. pstake

    pstake Member

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    I'm 31, have always used analog processes. Developing and printing my own for 10 years but there's a 3 year hiatus in there. Black and White only (so far). Was introduced to it during a community course at Vermont Center for Photography (Hi, Joan, if you're on here.)

    Later, photo I and II at college (with Ken Spector and then Christa Parravanni) … when there was still a full working darkroom. Not sure if it's still there.

    My love of, and familiarity with, analog processes, solidified when I completed the documentary photography track at Salt Institute For Documentary Studies, in the spring of 2006. I was in the second-to-last class to complete the program, fully analog. In the spring of 2007, they went all digital.

    This was traditional documentary photography, narrative storytelling. Very rarely did we take photos without people in them. To this day that is a sort of rule I go by. I shot 150+ rolls of Neopan, 400, 800 and 1600 ... and handful of Tmax 3200, souped by hand, contact sheets, prints made on RC for Crit and then final prints on Fiber, mostly in 8x10 but some 11x14 … for a gallery show at the end of the semester. I completed two photo essays during that time — about four months. A lot of late nights in the darkroom.

    In short, I'm 31 and I'm an analog lifer.

    That said, For work (journalist - writer but sometimes photographer, too), I/we have no choice but to shoot digital. That's the way of the world, now.
     
  16. andrew.roos

    andrew.roos Member

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  17. blansky

    blansky Subscriber

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    60. Started professionally when I was 25 after about 2 years of shooting. Strictly a commercial portrait photographer that shot Hasselblad for about 30 years. Dabbled in 4x5. After I started my business in 1976 I went about a year using a lab then realized that to do good work you have to print yourself, so I set up a color darkroom. Sold my business in 1986 and moved to LA.

    In LA shot headshots and model portfolios. Did commercial location scouting and worked as a still photographer for movies. Stayed for 7 years.

    Moved to Portland OR worked in a camera store for 1 year.

    Moved to San Jose CA and worked in a camera store for 1 year. Started up my portrait business again only strictly black and white. Stayed for 7 years.

    Moved to Santa Rosa CA. Continued in black and white portraiture. Converted to digital printing first, then digital capture in about 2007 after I couldn't tell the difference between one of my 20x24 digital print and an analog one, which took some time to accomplish.

    Absolutely love digital and everything about it. Sold all my darkroom stuff and enlargers but kept my Nikon F4, 2 Hasselblads and Linhof 4x5.

    Shoot with Canon 1DS Mark3 mostly and print on an Epson 7800. Both black and white and color.
     
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  18. Kc2edh

    Kc2edh Member

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    I'm 27, and started out with a small Canon point and shoot film camera at about age 10. With a fixed shutter speed and aperture, I'm amazed at the amount of acceptable pictures I got from that camera. Used a digital camera through college, and eventually became bored with it. Just in the last two years I finally got into B&W photography. I always wanted to take photography class in high school, but the prerequisite was two years of studio art and there wasn't enough time to fit it all in before graduation. After finding a Yashica FX-3 at a garage sale two years ago, I decided to make an investment and jump into B&W head-on. Did lots of reading about film development, filters, chemicals, printing, and started putting together my own darkroom. I soon after found a Rolleiflex and started with medium format, loving the smooth contrasty prints that camera gave me. Needless to say the camera collection has grown by leaps and bounds since then! Now I try to get a night in the darkroom at least once a week, and I love it. Resources like APUG (as well as making the usual beginner mistakes along the way) helped me to gain the majority of my knowledge about photography. I participate in the postcard exchange, and while I keep photography as a "serious hobby", I hope to build a portfolio sometime in the future.
     
  19. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    I'm 47. My father gave me an Agfa Isolette when I was ten followed by an Edixa Prismaflex a few years later and then a Nikkormat which was replaced by a Nikon FG. The FG was my only camera for many years.

    I still have the FG and the Edixa.

    In 2003 I tried a Nikon D100 but soon went back to film and started buying cameras. My collection got up to about thirty. At the same time, my father also started collecting and gathered together about the same number but of a better quality than mine.

    I have now inherited my father's collection and intend to use as many of them as I can.


    Steve.
     
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  20. kbrede

    kbrede Member

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    I'm 47. I shot film with a point and shoot as a youngster, until the late 80s. I then got a Minolta SLR, put it on auto and shot that for a couple years. I then went to digital point and shoots. About a year and a half ago I started seriously learning to shoot with a DSLR. I just started using manual film cameras a month or so ago and have developed one whole roll of B&W. :smile: The only thing I've used my DSLR for, since I got my SLR, is for testing lenses, etc. I'm going to be selling off some of my digital equipment to fund film equipment purchases soon, but I can't say I'm going totally analog. I don't feel as though I'm just "enthralled with something new" here. I really like the act of taking photographs with an analog camera over digital.
     
  21. ColdEye

    ColdEye Member

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    I'm 22. Started to dabble in photography when I was 19 I think (started with digi). I tried photography because of the abundance of exotic wildlife in the place that I used to stay. Then some friends introduced me to film, and I have now been shooting all film for 2 years. Hopefully in the future I can try color printing. :D
     
  22. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    46. Started with film and motion picture film. Shot a bunch of b movies on 16 and 35mm. Expanded into commercial still photography when I got tired of the movie biz. At the time it was still all film, and digital was an expensive joke. Gradually incorporated digital as client (agency) demand dictated. Still offer clients both formats. Majority of food still shot on film (4x5), it's a reputation thing.
    Catalog work and web work has of course gone all digital.I have found offering clients a choice is good business no matter what they choose, but my clients (agency art directors, etc.) are generally more sophisticated photography wise than if I did portraits, etc. I have dabbled in portraits/weddings that and found the client taste to be rather cheap and pedestrian, but that may just be the market I'm in. I did find the efficiency aspect of computer imaging to be superior, meaning throughput ability, but as it evolved people expected more for less, so it became sort of a wash, again, my market, being full of unsophisticated soccer mom "photographers" and other unwitting competing money losers is I feel a large part of the culprit. I learned to virtually ignore messages from client direct that asked prices before even speaking in person.

    Almost everything I do for creative expression is shot on film, but that is because I consider myself a printer when it comes to analog first and foremost, and I get little satisfaction from making inkjet prints from an art and craft aspect. I have never been impressed with persons who cite technical "quality" as a decision maker, because both formats are adequate in the hands of a talented and trained person. I strive for "qualities" instead. Digi processes to create prints that mimic analog leave me absolutely bored to mononucleosis like levels. I like working with my hands and "making" something, rather than a process I "guide" while something else does the work. If that doesn't make sense it simply means your brain is different than mine, nothing more. I simply have preferences, not convictions. People who try to argue me out of my analog preference might as well try and convince me that I like brussel sprouts and dislike female breasts, so unless I suffer a blow to the head I'll continue to shoot film whenever requested or preferred.

    I feel this sentiment of mine is the main reason I and most people continue with film, why film will continue as a viable product albiet on a reduced level from past choices, and why debate or worry, particularly on APUG, is rather inane.
     
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  23. Valerie

    Valerie Subscriber

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    46. I started in college in my 20's when I took photography as an elective. Got hooked (having Keith Carter for my prof didn't hurt!). Stayed until I had my masters.

    Now I infect young minds in the college classroom. Thanks to supportive administrators, we have a newly remodeled darkroom (from 7 to now 18 enlargers), larger classes that fill up, and new film users of all ages, but mostly in their early 20s.
     
  24. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    26, and started in about 2001 with my dad's AE-1. I think he started me thinking about film; loved Kodachrome, never shot Ektachrome, and I'm grateful to have many slide carousels of he and my mom's early vacations before the kids.

    I've always been interested in photography as I've seen it in museums. In those places, analog still rules, and that level of quality has always enticed me.

    I'll gladly buy a digital SLR when I can have one that handles exactly like a 60s/70s SLR. Shutter speed dial, aperture ring on lens, manual focusing, simple meter.
     
  25. batwister

    batwister Member

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    24 - been shooting film on and off for 3 years. Currently using my Canon 60D as a light meter and 'sketch pad'!
    Bought a Hasselblad in 2009 after being inspired by David Ward's landscape work - wanted to go LF, but settled for the happy medium.
    I was enamored with transparency for a while, but only made the occasional image while at university.

    It's only been since graduating last year that I've been taking photography seriously - which very much means shooting film.
    Unfortunately, I'm spending far too much time thinking photography than making images at the moment.
    For financial and motivational reasons, it's been tough to get out and put the hours in.

    Trying to sell my little used Zeiss 250mm Sonnar (Hasselblad) in order to fund a CLA for my 80mm and back. Then I hope to get working on a project.
    If anyone is in the market for the lens, please PM me.
     
  26. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    They're great - and they come from Brussels, not Brussel!


    Steve.