Film Photography in Year 2020

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by daleeman, Feb 11, 2012.

  1. daleeman

    daleeman Subscriber

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    Greating,

    While my photography may be in a paused state as I have become very involved as a care taker for my Mother and Father (saps the creativity right out of you), I have been thinking about what film photography will be like in the year 2020.

    Taking a long view many things in analog photography seem to change slowly. Film progressively got better, chemistry and processes did too and many original processes are still alive today. For years competition drove faster, more technically driven hardware... Camers, lenses, mini labs, automated custom service labs and more.

    So I would like to hear what others see in their crystal balls as to what analog photography will be like in the future. 2020 is only 8 years away but in today's technology driven world, that is almost a life time.

    Looking forward to your posts.
     
  2. nsurit

    nsurit Subscriber

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    My somewhat foggy crystal ball sees traditional silver based photography becoming more of an alternative process practiced by fewer people than today. I will be one of those.

    I recently watched a video about Keith Carter, part of which had him talking about his doing a series of portraits of his mother when she was in the final stages of her life when she really didn't know who he was and how important that process was for both him and his siblings. It got me to thinking about my almost 95 year-old Godmother for whom my wife and I have important care giving responsibilities.

    You might enjoy the video. Here is a utube snippit. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4vm5P8-N0o
     
  3. Helinophoto

    Helinophoto Member

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    It will become more rare, an art form, much more special than it ever was.
    In that respect, I believe that traditional silver prints will be a sought after commodity and probably high-priced items on exhibitions for example.

    My impression of the photographic world (and art in genera) is that anything rare/special is higher priced than some mass-produced/easily reproducible item.

    As long as materials for photography, development and printing is provided, analog will only be more and more appreciated and popular for buyers....in my opinion. =)
     
  4. hoffy

    hoffy Member

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    Ohh boy, this thread is going to be a cracker. Let me get some pop corn, sit back and watch....
     
  5. CGW

    CGW Member

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    Ilford hangs on as the only b&w film/chemistry/paper maker. Kodak? Gone. Company making film formerly know as Kodak? Maybe. Fuji? Rules as maker of paper and dry process print lines. Fujifilm? ISO160+400 C41 maybe.
    Red Epic and progeny rule cine imaging.
     
  6. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    Really, you think Foma, Efke, and Adox are all going to curl up and die within eight years? Geez, I think you turned your pessimism generator up too high this morning.

    -NT
     
  7. bsdunek

    bsdunek Subscriber

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    I can understand your dilemma. My Mother is 97 and Father in Law 96. Takes a lot of time! I still try to do my photography and get in the darkroom as often as I can.
    I think a couple of companies, say Ilford and one or more of the others Nathan mentioned will keep making film and paper, so long as enough of us use it. I do some digital, but just don't get the same thrill as working in the darkroom.
    I hope film keeps going as I will be very disappointed otherwise.
     
  8. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    I doubt it will be much different from what it is now. The big change was from 2000 to 2010 and that change was a dramatic reduction in the price of used gear. Other than that, for me its not much different than 1980. I had to go to a pro shop (same one I use now) for all my film as you could not get 120 B&W or 100ft 35mm anywhere else back then same as now. The main change since 1980 for me has been that I make more money and cameras and equipment are dirt cheap. Because of that I shoot more film now than ever before.
     
  9. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    its going to be like 1890 all over again.
    fun times making and using papers and films and plates
    while surveillance cameras are installed every 3 feet
    documenting our setting up, exposing, taking down ..
    it is going to be a very surreal experience ...
    just make sure you have a a bowler hat!
     
  10. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    In 8 years, increasing solar flares will render all digital sensors inoperable. The world-wide desire for images will make those with knowledge of film/darkroom techniques highly sought after. Those people will be extremely well compensated for their efforts, and the parking lot at annual APUG gatherings will be filled with Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Porsches, and Rolls-Royces.
    Well, maybe not 8 years, but soon thereafter...
     
  11. jakyamuni

    jakyamuni Member

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    It's funny to think that 2020 sounds far off, but is only about 8 years away. I don't think it will be all that different... and if all else fails, we can always do calotypes, right?
     
  12. daleeman

    daleeman Subscriber

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    Well put.

    I thought it was Mark Twain that once said, I'm surprised more people are not concerned with the future, I expect to spend the rest of my life there... or something to the effect. I am looking for the quote.
    Lee
     
  13. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Well, first of all, I have two balls and one is cellulose and the other silicon. And they both function very well, thank you very much.

    That said, I think the long term trend is for analogue photographers to go back to the future and retrace the historical developments of photography. I think it will be super-fascinating, actually. Yes, there will be infrared plates that you can buy, there will be new sensitizers and some beautiful new inventions. And, most importantly, there will be more interest in those forms of analogue photography for which we have complete ownership of the photographic process from start to finish. Do you think you really "own" a process in which you push mass-produced film through a mass-produced camera and make a print on mass-produced paper? Uh, no you don't.... at least not in the way that Talbot et al owned their process. Yes, analogue is only going to get more interesting.

    As I said elsewhere, I actually look forward to TEOTWATKI: The End Of The World As They Know It. "They" are those who go on and on about analogue, but who couldn't make an emulsion with a blender and a cracked egg to save their lives. Over the next few years, they will sob and whine every time some mass-produced film product is priced beyond their reach, and they will expect us to care when they ultimately decide to purchase one of those cameras. Meanwhile, the rest of us, confident in the ascending value of the individual craft, will calmly and resolutely continue to enjoy what we do... and find continued enjoyment by sharing our ideas and images with others.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 12, 2012
  14. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    Yep.

    I've been on APUG for 8 years, and we've been having these discussions since inception. Film and paper costs a bit more (so does food and gasoline), but I'm using more or less the same materials. Gear prices go up and down and vary depending on what it is. Leicas and Hassies are fairly pricey, but Mamiyas and Minoltas are dirt cheap. Well, except for the Mamiya rangefinders. I still can't get over how enlargers can't be given away in some cases, but a good 4 blade easel will cost you a couple of hundred dollars! :blink:
     
  15. jgjbowen

    jgjbowen Member

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    Let me see, in eight years I expect to be shooting TMY in 7x17, TMY-2 in 8x10, FP4 and TMY-2 in 5x7, Tri-X320 in 220, TMY-2 and Acros in 120 and Tri-X 400 in 35mm. I'll be making prints using Azo and Amidol along with Platinum and perhaps some other traditional processes. I know this because the materials are already on hand. Kind of takes the fun out of looking in the crystal ball, but I prefer it this way.
    As always, YMMV
     
  16. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    In 8 years I will still be managing the teaching darkroom at the university, helping students with the exposure of their film and the making of their silver gelatin prints. And I will spend days like last Friday, helping a class of 30 students make their first palladium prints -- and as I will next month, showing them how to make carbon prints (with those still interested after seeing the time required for the process, taking a weekend workshop with me on making their own carbon prints).

    vaughn
     
  17. Aristophanes

    Aristophanes Member

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    I think you have to divide analog into 2 camps:

    1) Custom processes¬óLots of threads here on APUG and elsewhere. Will be seen as more unique and valuable. Will survive indefinitely.

    2) Roll and cartridge film industrial processes¬óDepends on pure volume at affordable prices to stay viable. Industrial production requires industrial consumption. Its survival will almost entirely depend on scanning to enable a broad enough market for the coating lines to keep their revenues viably high enough. The home darkroom crowd and the few pro lab left cannot sustain the volume to keep a single supplier in the market unless there is innovation and rationalization within the industry. Vertical integration of production, materials, and distribution will be key. We'll know well before 2020.
     
  18. blansky

    blansky Subscriber

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    Judging by the age of some of the participants here, you younger guys better suck up all the knowledge you can because some of the masters, will be heading to the darkroom in the sky during the next decade.
     
  19. CGW

    CGW Member

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    A bigger worry is the passing of skilled repair people--something few discussions of the current bonanza of film gear ever consider as problematic for the future.