A VERY RELEVANT SURVEY
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Found the thread on LFF
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.