One of the options available to those of us in areas that have local film resources available is to help promote them.
I don't hesitate to mention to others the several local labs that still process film and the several local stores that still sell film or film and darkroom supplies.
“Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”
Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2
Originally Posted by CGW
"They are the proof that something was there and no longer is. Like a stain. And the stillness of them is boggling. You can turn away but when you come back they’ll still be there looking at you."
— Diane Arbus, March 15, 1971, in response to a request for a brief statement about photographs
Easy to promote!
Carry a portfolio of prints-from-slides with you during your travels. I do. This January I have encountered 16 people who have literally salivated over my workds, all thinking it was produced form a Nikon or Canon digital (Oh Lord, spare me what a camera has to do with it, save from holding film). Invariably, people pull me up when they see me working one or more cameras. The discussion then moves to film (but I halt immediately at comparisons between digital and film!). If they want to see my work to date, I present the best of my portfolio prints, reinforcing that they came from film and are (sorry, were) produced in traditional analog wet darkrooms. Until Ilford's grand-daddy Ilfochrome went belly-up... Still, some negs and trannies are also carried.
...ask, "is this a Photograph, or a still video image?" Call only Photographs, photographs.
I reapir everyone's old RB67s cheap so I can keep as many photographers on the road as I can..
also push film photography prints as photographs, an art; not run off the press digitised computerised posters.
Anyone can make a Digital print, but only a photographer can make a photograph.
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I have shown some neighbours kids how to do basic black and white darkroom work, alas only one has set up a darkroom. I gave him an old Soviet briefcase enlarger. A few shoot colour print and prefer to use old SLR's with out all this AF and P mode nonsense, they feel its cleverer and cooler than mobile phone pictures, also they like the feeling of having a skill. When I worked for a large computer retailer I would persuade a lot of people that they would be better off buying a reasonable scanner and to carry on using their film cameras due to the low amount of photographs they took and telling them that film is tried and tested and its keeping properties are well established. I had to speak to a person from head office as to how I sold more scanners then the rest of the region combined as there was a better profit margin on scanners. When people see my mono prints and ask me how it was done I tell them on film in a darkroom and that digital mono is S*** no matter how much is wasted on useless plug ins etc.
Shoot it, print it, sell it and show it. Buy expired film cheap on ebay then give it away for free to people who might be interested in trying it. But keep trying...
In the past few weeks, I have bought over 400 shares of Kodak stock, the good kind that holds it's shareholder value and comes in little yellow boxes. We are the only shareholders that matter now, the rest is where it was destined to go under the drunken guidance of a printer junkie...
Good luck and good bye APUG!
"I'm the freak that shoots film. God bless the freaks!" ~ Mainecoonmaniac ~
We Are All "Living Publicity" for Analog
Ken has really hit on something here. We APs have an opportunity (a duty?) to promote analog photography any time a curious person inquires as to what the heck we're doing. It's the perfect moment that the most expensive ad agencies in the world beat their heads against the wall to create.
Originally Posted by Ken Nadvornick
It's gotten to the point that a photographer who carries around just about any traditional camera (even a 70s era SLR ... which I regularly do carry around) can attract a question or a comment from passersby who just can resist knowing, "is film still made for that?" Or, "can you still get pictures developed for that?" WHAT an opportunity... although, in all honesty, I used to hate it.
The larger the format, the worse (better?). Nowadays, whenever I venture out into the streets of Paris with a Rolleiflex, I've got to keep the thing covered to avoid stares (it has really started to bother me .."I am not an animal!") I was getting used to it, however when I pop the hood open to focus on something and people begin to photograph me photographing ...now I'll just stop and ask them to come over and take a look into the camera. I explain how it works —which, as Ken pointed out, helps to promote our cause— and then hope they'll go away sooner than they ordinarily would so I can shoot without constraints! (exceptions: when the subject or light is about to disappear or when the tourist just giggles and runs away). I usually end my "demo" by planting a seed of curiousity (thanks to the fact that they can't see the photo right away): "You should see the difference between a good film-based image compared with a digital image". A couple of these contacts have stayed in touch with me, particularly one young lady who eventually bought an old Yashica-mat and now develops her own film. As well, I've held "Café Photo" sessions, inviting young film shooters to come, meet, speak with, see work of— French photojournalists who also shoot film.
Back to the question of curious onlookers: given the fact that many or most of the questions from them are roughly the same, I've even thought of printing-out some FAQ sheets to keep on me. Anyone else have this idea? Perhaps we could even make up a list of questions & answers right here in this thread from which we could create a little "brochure" for the promotion of film use (HEY! BTW...Why hasn't the likes of Ilford already done this??) Anyway, in it we could staple one of our own, "real" silver-based photographs, to show the difference create a keepsake that'd linger around the house and perhaps incite the questioner to try analog for themselves. As well, we could leave our contac info and the invitation to "feel free to ask me further questions" ... Any thoughts?
Last edited by Christopher Nisperos; 01-22-2012 at 08:12 PM. Click to view previous post history.
The best way to promote film is to use it, print it, do it well, and show it.
Most intelligent people understand that it's the results that matter, and not the tools. So, impress the hell out of those around you with your film use. Be nice about it too, without promoting film as a sort of superior method, but as an alternative that we like and explain why.
My own wording, when people ask me why I haven't started using digital tools, is that I don't like to edit pictures on a computer, and that I prefer a physical tangible process where my hands are involved. Using film is a choice that can be made for many reasons, but the overwhelming one has to be that we simply like it better. Why else would we do it? I know it isn't because I particularly like smelling selenium or sepia toner...
"Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank
"Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman
"...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh
Sometimes, people see me with my Canon AE-1, just out on the street, taking pictures of old buildings or foliage. Next, they want me to take their picture. Of course they want to see what they looked like! Then they see the back of my camera has nothing but a film tab reminder. They are most disappointed. I end up laughing as a result. Such people are usually between 12-24 years old, and some (looking on the lower end of the range) have never even known what film is/was. I usually promote film by pointing out its proven archival properties (B&W, anyone?), and the fact that it would be better to see 20-36 really good shots on Ektachrome, than 1000+ shots taken on a digital P&S, which can be dizzying, to say the least.
Currently shooting Ektachrome 100HC, exp. 1988/1990. No drastic colour shifts, just a slight magenta shift+loss of max density. I do use hybrid processes only because that is the only practical way of getting prints from slides short of buying Ilfochrome.
Last edited by ricardo12458; 01-24-2012 at 11:19 PM. Click to view previous post history.