Why ℗ Analogue Film in a digital Age?

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by F5B&W, Aug 6, 2014.

  1. F5B&W

    F5B&W Member

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    Hi. I am trying to understand myself better on a sleepless night. I have two wonderful Nikons, among others, a D700 and a F5. Also. a Rolliecord V. In this day and age of digital I ampulled to keep my bulk loaders full of FP4 and HP5.

    I don't understand my reluctance to embrace digital. Has anyone had a similar experience








    L
     
  2. SMBooth

    SMBooth Member

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    Its a forum for film photography, I think you can safety say all of us.
     
  3. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    Hi,

    welcome to APUG :smile:.

    If something is newer it does not mean it is better, or the same. When TV came - they were saying cinema is dead. When VHS came they were saying cinema is dead. When photography came - they were saying painting is dead.

    Different tools for different needs. Digital is different tool.
     
  4. Rhodes

    Rhodes Member

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    I'm sorry, but all cameras are digital! We use digits to operate them! :tongue:
     
  5. baachitraka

    baachitraka Subscriber

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    My beer is not digital so I do not belong to digital age yet. :-(
     
  6. davidmasek

    davidmasek Member

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    For me it is not about giga or petapixels and what not. Photography is my hobby, digital imaging is not. Simple as that. I tried, I know. And the tradition of more than a century of photography is so inspiring. Well, my version of the answer.
     
  7. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    A look at both sides of the coin.
    My photography makes use of both digital and analogue, with analogue providing, as it always has, the most satisfaction and the best results; it involves subjective analysis, critical thinking, comparison aesthetic balance, visual-spatial relationships and visualisation of the finished image as a photograph. If I use digital, it makes me a bit uncomfortable and uncertain looking at a little coloured display because it is corrupting my long-established methodology, so I compromise with myself to achieve a good outcome. It is mostly the beginners in film photography that express doubt on their abilities and confidence and look to digital as a panacea ... .a wonder cure, if you will, which it is not really. Besides, you will learn a great deal more from knuckling down in film photography than you would using digital alone, because much of the decision making of the image (exposure, among) is being done for you by the camera (along with focusing too), and those things today are bristling with technology that is superfluous to the business of creating a beautiful image to be proud of. Go all manual and make your own reasoned choices to stand out from the crowd.
     
  8. faustotesta

    faustotesta Member

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    Digital stuff applied to arts makes things easier but lowers the standards. Think about a MIDI base and compare it with a real guitar....
     
  9. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    For me, it's all about dark room magic. Film affords me the pleasure, computers do not.
     
  10. ME Super

    ME Super Member

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    I've had the opportunity to use a Pentax K-x DSLR, very briefly. Pentax considered it to be an "entry-level" DSLR. Rest assured, most if not all DSLRs will let you turn all the automation off (aperture, shutter speed, ISO, and focus), however their interfaces are not as simple as on a good film SLR. Even the high tech plastic film SLRs let you turn off automation and control most if not all of the settings with a couple button pushes and switch flicks.
     
  11. Jesper

    Jesper Subscriber

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    Why drink single malt whiskey when you can drink vodka?
     
  12. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    My wife loves to knit and her mom loves to quilt. My mom painted and my grand mother sewed, my dad shot slides. The people who get (or got to share time with) the resulting pieces enjoy them immensely both because of character each has and because of who made them. There aren't any copies of these "things", each piece is an original with it's own personality.

    These fine ladies and gents find (or found) joy in the process/the act of making these artifacts and like sharing a meal with these people, these things are never destined to be shared via web or sms. That doesn't mean these things are necessarily hidden or private, simply that they are meant to be shared in person. You have to be present where they are to see and enjoy them.

    Meditation is another good reason, because it isn't necessarily about anybody but ourselves. Think Vivian Maier.

    A good share of why I do analog work is because it gives me something tangible. My wife is a computer programer and still struggles with the concept of the digital result of her work "being real".

    I could go on but...
     
  13. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    I don't think there is a good reason for me to drink whiskey. :whistling:
     
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  15. momus

    momus Member

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    If digital looked as good as film, we'd all be doing it, right?

    A good reason is not needed to drink good whiskey. Never trusted anyone that didn't have a drink now and then. It's gratifying to see all the positive news about having a nice glass of the old vino rosso too. If that sort of thing is cumulative, I'm set for a ripe old age!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 6, 2014
  16. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    What about Muslims and other who are not drinking alcohol on religious bases :wink:?
     
  17. bvy

    bvy Subscriber

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    Never underestimate a Photoshop guru's ability to make their digital files look like film. I've been fooled more than once (and, yes, I hate it when that happens). No, it's more than the look. It's about having something real and tangible to work with. And the satisfaction that comes with the craft of making a one-of-a-kind print -- one that I can't reproduce by simply pressing the Print button again.
     
  18. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    For me there are lots of reasons, but I think the core ones are;
    1. I spend too much time in front of computers already.
    2. Doing analog well is more of a challenge, and more rewarding when I get it right.
     
  19. Jesper

    Jesper Subscriber

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    If they are conservative enough I don't think they are allowed to make images of people so most photography is out anyway.

    Please note that my comment was not really about drinking but a way to say that even though you can get similar results, some ways of doing things are more enjoyable than others and that may be a reason as good as any to do it that way.
     
  20. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Wrong logic IMO.

    There are good reasons not to drink, but that choice does make me want to know why.
     
  21. snapguy

    snapguy Member

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    nitrate film

    Digital images are like nitrate film -- they will go up in smoke or be reduced to dust very soon, maybe before this century is up. Traditional silver b&w prints and negatives will last 200 years. And 200 years from now many people will be interested to see what those olde time savages (you and me) were up to.
     
  22. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    The preference for analog is a mixture of several things in various proportions depending on the person:

    -It's what we know how to do
    -We enjoy the "magic" of photo-chemical processes
    -We enjoy the tactile experience of darkroom work
    -We work with computers in our day jobs and prefer not to use them for hobbies
    -We want to make everything ourselves from A-Z (wet plate etc etc.)
    -Nostalgia

    There are some other purported reasons people cite, but I don't think they hold much water at this point, and they have little to do with art:

    -Analog is higher quality
    -An image on film has some sort of inherent "integrity"
    -You have to be better with film because you can't shoot as much volume (see "machine-gun")
     
  23. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    To me it is simply I enjoy film better.

    Jeff
     
  24. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    To which reasons I'll add:
    I enjoy using low-tech, high-performance obsolete technology. An old, finely made camera - say an M3, or a Nikon F, or (even!) a good Kiev 4a is a joy to hold and use, giving results fully comparable to digital gear costing many thousands.
    Sometimes you can't do it with digital - an 8x10 (or any other size, from strips of 35 as bookmarks on up) contact print.
    My Deardorff is made of mahogany.
    And, I just like it. :smile: That's all the justification necessary right there.
     
  25. bvy

    bvy Subscriber

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    It's a good summary, but all the reasons in the first section (that do hold water?) seem self indulgent. I think you can cite something favorable about analog's abilities and qualities over digital without resorting to superlatives.
     
  26. Wallendo

    Wallendo Subscriber

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    I shoot both. My digital images are sharp, bright, colorful and easily modified with photoshop or aperture. My digital images are easily shared immediately with friends and family.

    On the other hand, there is a peculiar enjoyment from analog photography. Nothing beats a well-exposed Kodachrome slide projected on a screen in a darkened room. Digital prints are so easy and idiot-proof, that I enjoy the art of creating black and white film images. I think twice before pressing the shutter with analog - with digital and a large SD card, I am tempted to randomly shoot multiple images in the hope that something comes out of it.

    Some of the attraction is nostalgic - I grew up shooting Kodachrome with an Instamatic.

    There is also the physicality of film. I have Kodachrome slides from a college trip to Europe in 1981 which look brand-new. When I hold the mount, I also know that this very piece of celluloid was with me on that trip. I took a trip with my wife and daughter in 2009, during a period when I was digital-only. Although I have priceless family snapshots from that trip, the emotional connection with the images isn't the same. I suspect younger photographers will never really understand this feeling, since most never developed an attachment to film.