I wish I had a new story, but right now the story is that an annoying amount of smoke from all the fires out West is putting the brakes on a couple of shoots, so off to the room of dark I go...
"I'm the freak that shoots film. God bless the freaks!" ~ Mainecoonmaniac ~
Film isn't any more likely to die out than wooden spoked wheels. No way. And on the plus side, I expect that with by our particular passion we will not have to grow a beard, wear a flat topped hat and eschew electricity. So it's all looking good.
But on a serious note; film is going to die. None of us wants it, however none of us would have taken seriously the future, say ten years ago. We would have scoffed at and shreaded that nut (from the future) who would have predicted that what has happened over the last ten years, back then. So what makes us any more reliable for predicting film's next ten? And we shake our heads at Kodak about not waking up and getting it?
I read things here about strategy. Bit by bit it slips. First ... no film is not going to die. Then; well perhaps Kodachrome. But you can just move to other film. Next Velvia. Ditto. Change what you shoot. Perhaps color film may die off it is sometimes conceded, here in 2012. But we can change to, ummm, yeah, black and white. Well for some people "film" WAS Kodachrome. Perhaps velvia was what kept your camera off the shelf. Those will be some great black and white sunsets I'm going to shoot in a few years!
Every time another product is discontinued or the price raised, somewhere for someone .... film dies. You turn is coming - somewhere. We are in the middle of the death of film, all of us seeing it accelerate like a car, already off the road, stuck accelerator - wall up ahead. That strikes me as an odd time for bravado. yeah, sure we are still alive. Someone will rescue us. That wall will move.
In 2004 and then more in 2006 I re-entered the film world after slowly being disenchanted more and more with digital. Actually, I like digital in as much as I can get the photos I want and photos I am proud of. But something was/is lacking for me. At that time I was worried because I thought the writing was on the wall. I thought film scanners may one day disappear. I had the Nikon coolscan 5000 but wanted the 9000. That was a lot of money though and I wanted to buy film and film gear (and did) but I had this nagging feeling. People said "don't worry, it will never die" well the Epson 750 I have now as a consolation prize ... does not substitute. Fortunately I now have a full darkroom and have moved on from the need or desire to scan. In 2008 as film prices started to creep upwards I said to myself "if you are going to do film ... really stick to you guns" I set a ceiling of 5 dollars per roll of film. That was kind of a pchychologically important step for me because back then it felt outrageous to pay a price like that for a roll of 35 or 120. It was liberating in a funny way to give myself permission to spend no matter what the cost! I was serious about it. Well, I've just recently upgraded that figure to 15 dollars a roll. That works for me because I don't want to get stuck on cost.
I know that this post of mine does not seem very positive. My issue is not with film. It is with the blind pretend that all is ok and we will somehow come out of this car-wreck ok. I don't think we will. I'd like to then instead suggest that we square ourselves with the fact that everything dies and now the mortician seems to be talking in slow, sad, soothing tones to film's loved ones. Naw, lets wake up to the facts so we can get on with things. I just ordered 100 rolls of neopan 120,because I don't trust Fuji's commitment to film any better than its commitment to movie film, but I do like neopan and it is still cheap. A gallon of gas or a roll? I'll take the roll, while I can.
I encourage others to see that film is dead, or will be in a few days or weeks. And then get on and shoot more of it than last year. Don't take it for granted, the way we do with breathing. The end IS nigh.
To find the answers .... Question them!
I don't know if I have a future, let alone film. But, I have a present, and so does film. I'm glad that they coincide...
somebody once told me..."live in the present. not in fear of the future nor regretting the past."
Does film have a future?
Color and slide may not last. B&W? Definitely. Kodak or Fuji? Who knows. All I know is 10+ years ago predictions on sites like photo.net were saying film would be really hard to get in 2-3 years and dead and pretty much impossible to get within 5 years and if so would be $15 or more per roll. Again, that was 10 years ago...
I got enough b&w 35, 120 and 4x5 in my freezer for at least 15 years or more...
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Someone, I think it was Buddha, once said: "Do not worry about the past, for it is already gone. Do not worry about the future, for it is not here yet. Do not worry about the present, because I did not bring you one."
Originally Posted by BradS
Is film dead? I don't care. I'm not dead.
I don't care what film costs. I don't care that there's nobody convenient around here to develop it for me. I don't care about its limitations.
I care that film is what it is, and does what it does.
What more can I ask? What more can I desire from it?
It's my death that means my end to film. When I'm dead, I won't be worrying about it much. Until then, I'm alive and film is alive. This medium is alive. It will continue to be alive. Yes, film has had its heyday. But I'm not dead and it's not dead.
Today I bought my first book of street photography. "Vivian Maier, Out of the Shadows." That's the sort of photographs I do, but I like wandering the countryside. Psychotically going out and going out and going out and going out and going out and going out. One roll after another, one sheet after another.
I can't hoard years of film. I can only buy what's available, and use it up, and buy some more next week. Again and again. The only stash I have is of developed negatives. I will feed my Pentax, my Rollei, my Yashica, my Graflex and my Toyo. Again and again.
I'll stop when I drop.
I'll be mellow when I'm dead.
Or walking into a mosque and asking where the nearest church is... or walking into McDonald's and asking where the nearest Burger King is.
To ask a question like this on a forum that's devoted entirely to film photography is like walking into a church and enquiring where the nearest mosque is.
If film runs out, just coat your own... B/W, that is.
Except the internet, the greatest POS to wreck the lives and minds of those in it's path will always try to tell you different...
Originally Posted by Brian C. Miller
"I'm the freak that shoots film. God bless the freaks!" ~ Mainecoonmaniac ~
When I had to give up film photography for a while due to general life stuff and having babies, I took up another antiquated pass-time: I learned to knit. Now I knit, dye yarn, and I'll be designing several patterns next year. You'd think that making your own clothing would go out of style because of the fact that buying it is so *cheap* nowadays...but, yeah, not so much. With the cheap price comes cheap quality, which I'm not exactly happy with, to be quite honest. Sweaters made out of ACRYLIC? Not for me. Same with cameras made of plastic and images in solely digital format.
I mean, you can pry my DSLR from my cold, dead hands, but I've held onto the Burke & James 5x7 and the Mamiya C3 for the last three years. I don't really see myself giving them up any time soon.
No idea what's going to happen next, but I'm hoping it involves being wrist deep in chemicals come the weekend.