If there were no film...

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by ChristopherCoy, Jun 10, 2012.

  1. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Subscriber

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    .... would you give up photography?


    If Fuji, and Kodak, and the others decided to stop making film because it was no longer profitable - and your hoarded stock in the chest freezer ran out.... would you give up photography completely? Or start buying megapixels?
     
  2. CGW

    CGW Restricted Access

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    Oh boy! It's Counterfactual Sunday!

    Photography isn't defined by--or limited to--film, sorry.
     
  3. HowardDvorin

    HowardDvorin Member

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    I would not give up photography!!!!
     
  4. Steve Smith

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  5. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    Of course not. If it was there wouldn't be the option suggested by the OP.


    Steve.
     
  6. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    The truth is, I'm not sure what I'd do (although I don't think it will be an issue, in my lifetime). My brief forays into digital left me extremely unsatisfied. I got no "buzz" from the process. I like the hand-crafted, hands-on, nature of the traditional photographic processes.
     
  7. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    Frankly, I would love to give up film. As soon as I can make digital negatives that will yield prints as good as my ones from film, I will.
     
  8. dwross

    dwross Subscriber

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    Who are these "others" you speak of? You can be an other if you so choose, so your decision to go digital would be wholly voluntary. (Which, in point of fact, seems perfectly reasonable to me. I love my Powershot and my Pentax K5. But still...voluntary -- not imposed by outside forces.) It's high time to break 100 years of industry brainwashing. It comes down to the fire in your belly.

    All the photos on this page: http://www.thelightfarm.com/cgi-bin/htmlgen.py?content=24Apr2012 were made with film I made myself, and shot with a handheld roll film camera. Not hard. Not expensive. Any lack in the images is due to my lack as an artist, not with the materials.

    d
     
  9. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Subscriber

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    Well of course it's counter factual - its a hypothetical question.
     
  10. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Subscriber

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    I meant 'others' as in other brands of film... Like Ilford, Efke, etc. etc.
     
  11. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Subscriber

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    He didn't say it was so defined.

    However, *I* often say it should be so defined. A lot of confusion might have been avoided if digital had continued to be called "imaging" or some similar term versus traditional "photography." That wouldn't invalidate the former, but it would help demarcate them a bit better. One art is distinguished from another by process, not artifact. Otherwise, "photo-realistic painting" would be the same art as photography, and it clearly isn't. For commercial work, it's the artifact, the finished product, that is defining. Are we talking about art or commercial photography? I include selling the ability to take snapshots of the vacation and kids to the general public as commercial in this case. It sure ain't art.

    Even so - yes, and no. I'd probably buy a DSLR since digisnappers are still too limited for me, but I sure wouldn't invest a lot of time and effort into it as I do now. It'd be limited to what the general public mostly does with a camera - records of events and travels and people. I'd make little real effort to make prints to hang on the wall or the like.

    I have other hobbies, and I'd spend more time and money on them. When it comes right down to it, it's the process I mostly enjoy.
     
  12. Old-N-Feeble

    Old-N-Feeble Subscriber

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    ALL of my money is invested in 6x12cm and 5x7in cameras, lenses and film. Would I give it all up if film went away? Yes, probably, but I've been fooling myself with what I've bought anyway. I'm not in decent health and have a crappy attitude so I don't get out much. FYOOK IT!!
     
  13. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Subscriber

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    It's his new favorite babel term. And mine is about to be "FfVb" again, the reason I'm still on Firefox 3.6. It's been very useful on some pilot forums I'm on. I haven't used it here since Aristophanes, but I think that's about to change.
     
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  15. ChristopherCoy

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    This is my opinion as well.

    I hate to say it, but I've become so anti-digital that I've gotten to the point that I grit my teeth any time I have to pick up my DSLR. I got tired of all the mindless mouse clicks. Film has helped me find the 'buzz' again, as you called it. Perhaps in the future my views on both film and digital will even out and I'll be able to enjoy both equally again. But if it were to happen tomorrow, and there was no film, I think I'd have to take up painting again.
     
  16. dwross

    dwross Subscriber

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    Yes, got that. And I am trying (and failing, I'm afraid) to break through the tautology of brainwashing. Forehead bloody. Must go photograph.
     
  17. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    I paid a visit to Sandy King at his home in South Carolina about two years ago. At that time he had sold all his large format equipment and was scanning 6x7 cm negatives made with a Mamiya camera and made enlarged digital negatives for his carbon prints.

    The following year at the New England Large Format weekend he gave us a workshop on making digitally enlarged negatives and showed us some beautiful prints made from both enlarged digitally captured negatives and digitally enlarged scanned film negatives.

    I had dinner with Sandy and his wife the evening before he left for a trip to China a few weeks ago. He told me then that he was not taking any film cameras at all to China. Only a digital camera with a micro 4/3 sensor. Sandy makes some of the most gorgeous carbon prints you've ever seen. His prints from digitally enlarged 6x7 cm film negatives are indistinguishable to me from the ones made from in camera film negatives at 16" x 20" print size.

    So while Sandy doesn't use film any more, his prints are still hand crafted using a 120 year old process. A master carbon printer (and platinum/palladium as well) has gone from large format in camera film negatives to digitally enlarged scanned film negatives to enlarged digitally captured negatives and still maintained his fine print quality. All this over a period of about 4 years.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 10, 2012
  18. eddie

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    Chris- I know many people who enjoy digital (and are doing great work with it), but it's not for me. And, since I don't enjoy it, I doubt that I could get satisfactory results from it. I'm a firm believer that you must have a passion for something, to excel at it.
    I would join Denise and Steve, and find a way to produce my own.

    Jim- I wasn't referring to enlarged negatives for alt processes. While I haven't yet explored it, I do consider it hand-crafted, and (I'm sure) it would give me the satisfaction (and passion) I have for traditional film/paper work.
     
  19. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I'm not sure myself. I hardly every use my digital camera.

    Jeff
     
  20. CPorter

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    If this were to actually happen, I can not fathom spending the resources to be able to get into the digital process, I have nothing digital now except a basic camera that my wife uses. Though I love photography and share that it is not defined in the world by film---it is defined in my world by film, in short, it would be over for me. As someone said it earlier, I get no buzz from doing it with mouse clicks.
     
  21. ChristopherCoy

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    Excellently worded sir!
     
  22. cepwin

    cepwin Member

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    I certainly wouldn't give it up. Anyway....look at the impossible project....if there's any demand someone will make it.
     
  23. Bob Carnie

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    I would have a hard time solarizing my work if film went.... but we had that new Hasselblad camera with 80 megabites here the other day for a job, and it looked pretty fine... start saving my pennies now for that one.

    Many creative artists have proven that commercial film or paper for that matter is not needed to make world class images and prints.
    I too have seen Sandy's work and others where commercial film or paper is not needed, in fact its an area beyond my personal solarized work that is of keen interest.

    I just happen to love FP4 film and Ilford Warmtone silver paper and will continue to use it till no longer available. But I certainly would love that new Hasselblad, anyone who really loves photography should have the same feelings. IMO there is a level playing field these days for both digital and film equipment and basically its the person who uses the tools well are those whose work is worth looking at.
     
  24. semi-ambivalent

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    You need a hobby.
     
  25. Old-N-Feeble

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    I'm trying to revive my hobby... my love of photography from 30+ years ago... but it's a losing battle.
     
  26. Hatchetman

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    I would spend a lot less time doing it that's for sure. I have a hard time believing B&W would ever disappear completely though.

    Digital requires so much computer time, which is not what I want to be doing for fun.