When did you last promote film use?

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by Wolfeye, Nov 29, 2008.

  1. Wolfeye

    Wolfeye Subscriber

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    It's fun to be evangelical. :smile:

    On Thanksgiving my brother-in-law showed up at our house with a new Olympus E-520. Not a bad little kit. I had an E-500 for a couple years but the tiny sensor just makes bad pics, IMHO.

    Anyhow.

    He's had a Canon AE-1 for years. I bought him a lens for it last Christmas. So I asked why he got the Oly... well, the Canon was too slow. Oh you mean you wanted autofocus? Nope. It takes too long to wind between shots....

    Oh.

    Quick trip to the basement, returning with my Canon A-1 and Motor Drive MA. Wow. How fast is it? Are you kidding me? Wow. Honey, could you write that model down...?

    :smile:

    Hint to eBay folks, there's a market right now for a motor drive MA you may have gathering dust... :smile:
     
  2. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    Last night when I sent the December issue of Creative Image Maker magazine to ePress. (I know, shameless huh)
     
  3. ron110n

    ron110n Member

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    My myspace and face book photo blogs are predominantly B&W films in German glass, complete with developing information to share to the young people. I do admit that I have a few digital snaps but that's my alternative to replace Polaroid. I just hate it when I only brought a digital camera and I saw a subject or moment that I can only express best in B&W films or color transparencies.
     
  4. rusty_tripod

    rusty_tripod Member

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    Every time I walk out the door with my Mamiya, Pentax, or Yashicamat G, I promote film because people are always commenting that they used to have one of "those" and it took good pictures.
     
  5. mcfactor

    mcfactor Member

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    I work at the largest photo store in the country and happily promote film everyday. Although i only sell camera bags, i always chat up and encourage anyone who buys film. It does feel good to be evangelical every once and a while.
     
  6. phaedrus

    phaedrus Member

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    Just yesterday, at Zeiss

    Yesterday, at Zeiss in Jena, Germany.
    No, really!
    Though it was at the split-off medical division of Zeiss, Jena. I'm an ophthalmologist and they held a course about their vessel analysis system. I had my Nikon S3 with me and took some photos of the fundus cameras, computer gear and of course of the participants. That quickly got me into an off-topic (for the course) discussion with the instructors, all of them being ardent "Zeissianer" well versed in the history of Zeiss lenses and Contax cameras. Some of them shoot film, too.
    The fundus camera we worked with was interesting, too. It was a model FF450 with impeccable Zeiss optics, but the camera attached to one of it's ports took me by surprise: a Leica R9 with a custom digital sensor back.
    What an unexpected marriage of two of the most prestigious names in German optics!

    Christoph
     
  7. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    I agree with your use of digi and it is a sensible use—snaps. The guiding philosophy behind my use of digital is to evaluate and tweak a scene on the 3.0" screen before committing it to the more expensive medium of film—just as a MF user will switch to a Polaroid back for the same purpose, then to Velvia or whatever else. Yes, it sounds like cheating, but it's not when you consider how many Polaroids a dedicated pro will churn through until the scene is 'just so'! I set my digi (Canon G9, exposure adjustments AEB etc. identical to EOS 1N) to Positive Film rendering and freely bracket up and down, scrutinising the results before virtually replicating the ideal scene on Provia (which, incidentally, being much less contrasty than any of the Velvias doesn't really need copious bracketing). I am sometimes unhappy with myself for buying my second digi camera but in fairness, I wanted a larger display visible without having to put my glasses on! But promote film I do: film is still the gold standard when you need to express yourself and show the knowledge and skill behind the fundamental action of making an image, as opposed to "taking" a picture as so many digi "photographers" are doing nowadays.

    .:: PDJ ::.
     
  8. DougGrosjean

    DougGrosjean Member

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    I normally shoot with MF TLRs, or 35mm swing-lens Widelux, or on vacation I'll add a 100 y/o Kodak Panoram swing-lens cam to the kit. *Any* of those 3 cams tends to draw gawkers and stimulate convo.

    The TLR: "Oh, my dad / grandpa / uncle had one of those, all our family pics were taken with it!"

    The swing-lens cams: "WHAT is that?"

    The 100 y/o Kodak: "WHAT is that? How old is that? It still works? How does it work?"

    But once in a while, I get to shoot with my #10 Cirkut. To say it draws gawkers and stimulates convo is an extreme understatement. Since it takes about 30 minutes to setup the camera, there's usually an audience long before I've started arranging the scene. The whole shoot is a bit of a production, really. Immediately afterward, there's lots of questions.

    A day / week / month later; showing the result (a negative that measures 10" tall by several feet long), nobody ever tells me I should have done the shot in digital..... :smile:
     
  9. Colin Corneau

    Colin Corneau Subscriber

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    I'm currently writing an article on traditional photography for the daily paper I shoot for. Anyone who has some interesting tales to tell of their involvement, love or experience with film is welcome to PM me!
     
  10. Alexander Ghaffari

    Alexander Ghaffari Member

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    Last night, when everyone else's cameras were digital, and they all failed due to low battery power.

    My RB67 needs no battery, it's awesome!
     
  11. flatulent1

    flatulent1 Subscriber

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    My old friend Joel brought me back into photography some 25 years ago, loaned me his A-1, we bought T90's together, went out shooting together. After a while I switched to EOS for the autofocus, he went for the IXUS. I got a 5D, he got an S2-IS. Recently he's been complaining about the S2's lack of responsiveness, and what DSLR should he be looking at. While I directed his attention to the Rebel XS, I handed him an EOS 1 and a ten-pack of Ilford HP5 24exp. As I am just now getting into developing my own film, I was able to offer him free B&W processing. He's delighted with the camera, and I think he's getting excited about this 'film thing'.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 30, 2008
  12. mjs

    mjs Member

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    I suppose that it depends somewhat on how you define "promote". I was in a very small (one traffic light,) Indiana farm town yesterday with my 8x10. In half a dozen conversations with local folks, each and every one of them from grandpa to teenagers, recognized the 8x10 B&J monorail as a film camera.

    And there were none of your typical "do they still make film for those things" stupid questions. One lady asked how big of enlargements I make. Another wanted advice on backgrounds for her daughter's senior portraits.

    One heck of a relaxing afternoon. :smile:

    Mike
     
  13. AutumnJazz

    AutumnJazz Member

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    I promote it to people that I think it suits (ie. people who wouldn't be spending the price of a digital body in film).
     
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  15. Chris Nielsen

    Chris Nielsen Member

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    Whenever I take my Rolleicord out it prompts people to come talk to me about it. I think it makes the rest of my buddies from my local Flickr group jealous when we go out shooting together :smile:
     
  16. Erik Petersson

    Erik Petersson Subscriber

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    Just the other day, when I asked a friend to measure the light for me with his little digital camera. However, we were unable to find anything else than fifteen different program modes. I decided to shoot anyway, at ISO 400, f4, 0.15 seconds on my FED3. (Swedish winters are dark.) Anyway, we agreed that a digital point and shoot is not really useful for taking snapshots of people.
     
  17. Stephen Frizza

    Stephen Frizza Member

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    Every time I open the doors to my lab 7am-8pm monday to saturday hahahaha. dont worry chris your not alone.

    ~Steve Frizza
    The Lighthouse Lab
     
  18. Vaughn

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    At the present time I am too wrapped up in promoting the handmade printing processes (primarily carbon printing, but also others) to worry too much about how one arrives at the negative that they will use for the process.

    While the negative does have a direct effect on the final result, people do not usually look at film. But people take notice when I hand them a platinum print, and even more so when I hand them a carbon print with a bit of raised relief and tell them I made it out of Knox Unflavored gelatin and sugar from the supermarket (and a bit of lampblack watercolor).

    Vaughn
     
  19. Chris Nielsen

    Chris Nielsen Member

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    Stephen: Wow, how do you find time to eat and sleep, let alone get out and shoot? :smile:
     
  20. tjaded

    tjaded Subscriber

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    I'm with Stephen...I have the fun of promoting film everyday at work. There is nothing quite like the evil little joy I get when someone brings in a file to print--they will point to something on the wall and say, "I want it to be that big." I open the file, see that it is probably maxed out at a 5"x7" or whatever. They ask how to get a BIG print like the ones on the wall and I get to say, "You have to shoot film..."
     
  21. Stephen Frizza

    Stephen Frizza Member

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    Until last month I used to work Sundays too. The secret is I love what I do.

    ~Steve Frizza
    The Lighthouse Lab
     
  22. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Just about every time I have one of the big cameras out, I have a conversation or two about them.

    For Thanksgiving, we had a friend in town who had just come from the Macy's parade, and she seemed a little embarrassed about what she thought of as her big clunky Olympus P&S, while everyone else had a tiny digital camera, but I explained that it's a perfectly good camera for her use. She gets prints to share and a CD to email photos to her family and friends. Digital means getting on the upgrade cycle, dealing with a printer and the costs of paper and ink, probably replacing her computer, and not necessarily getting a better result in the end, and if she doesn't actually have the time to make prints, things never get printed and the files eventually end up on some unreadable medium, if they don't get transferred every few years. Prints can survive in a shoebox.
     
  23. kavandje

    kavandje Member

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    Last Thursday, a pro photographer friend of mine, who had been all digital until she finally succumbed to my subversive influence, brought two of her younger students (~17 years old), neither of whom had handled film in their lives. We gave them each a camera (an old Chinon M-1 and an Olympus OM-1), a light meter and a roll of Rollei Retro 400 and told them not to come back until they'd finished the roll.

    I then showed them how to spool the film up onto the reels for processing, showed them how to mix up a batch of Rodinal 1+50, and had them agitate every 30 seconds. When the developer came out and the fixer went in, they were starting to get impatient and excited, and when the films came out of the fixer, the excitement was palpable.

    The look of achievement in their eyes when I showed them their negs hanging on the line was just wonderful.

    One of them phoned me the other day. He's scored an old Minolta XE-1 with an f/1.7 50mm lens off his dad, and he was asking me if I could sell him some film from my bulk roll.

    I feel like a disreputable pusher man -- "The first one's free, but next time... bring your friends..."
     
  24. DougGrosjean

    DougGrosjean Member

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    My son, 14 y/o now and a freshman in high school, now and then shoots a few pics. I've encouraged him with the purchase of a really cheap digi-cam a couple years back. He did well with it on a motorcycle trip we took together, so I bought him a better digi-cam a year ago. He does OK with it, but his heart's just not in shooting stills (he does like shooting short videos, though), and I don't push it. Somewhere along the way, he has picked up the basics from me: horizon level, never in the center, if in doubt use Rule of Thirds, unless you have a better idea / reason not to, squeeze the shutter button gently so there's no camera shake.

    On vacation or at a Christmas dinner, he can use a camera competently, turning out stuff that's usually sharp, in focus, no movement / blur, and properly exposed (auto camera, that's not his fault). But again, his heart's just not in it.

    Meanwhile, we tease each other gently back and forth about film vs. digi. If he sees me looking at a digi-cam, he feigns disbelief or horror. When I shoot with one of my old beater cameras, he acts embarassed (I *think* he's acting). When one of my pics turns out good, and he asks which camera I took it with, and I answer "my old beater camera that looks like crap"..... He replies "Yes, but which one????"

    But this school year, 2008-2009, he took a photography course in high school. His mother loaned him her Minolta X-570, purchased when we were dating circa 1985 or so, and barely used since then. The teacher uses /teaches b&W film, and they process the film at the school darkroom, and use an enlarger to print it.

    And now, he understands even more of what I'm talking about, and what I'm doing, when I shoot b&W and then spend time developing it. He understands now about contact prints, proper exposure when you have to set it yourself, enlarging. I can't say he's produced art with his X-570 yet, and maybe he never will. But he seems to be a bit more respectful of the process now, and also seems to be enjoying the class. He often does produce negs that are properly exposed, focussed, and processed.

    We haven't stopped ribbing each other about my old film cams vs. his prefered modern digi cams. But the digs are half-hearted now, neither of us really believing the gentle jabs we're giving the other.

    I do hope I can talk him into running a roll of film through a TLR one of these days, or taking some shots with my 4x5 press camera. Maybe..... Time will tell. Meantime, it's fun just to watch him grow up and learn as he goes.
     
  25. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    I have been wanting to do some fairly inexpensive "intro to film" workshops locally. I think there is enough interest based on chatter on the local photo boards. However, I don't have the facilities, and there are none available (to me) at a reasonable cost for a Saturday or a weekend. :sad:

    There are still plenty of community college courses around, but a lot of people don't want to obligate the time to take a semester long course. A one or two day workshop is marketable. Maybe someday ...

    Otherwise, I don't do a lot of recruiting. If I am out shooting and somebody wants to talk, I'll talk. I did do a presentation to a camera club recently where I showed them a 12x20 negative and its contact print. That got their attention! :tongue:
     
  26. AutumnJazz

    AutumnJazz Member

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    Eh...I sincerely doubt that they never used film. I'm younger, and as a kid I used film all the time. Digital only really took off about 6/7 years ago.