"Collectors and galleries still want prints on fiber paper—they just like the way it looks." - It is not just collectors, the majority of the people who buy my photographs have no idea about the differing technologies they just respond to the quality of a well made analogue photograph and are then more happy when I explain that every photograph from the edition of 15 is different and that they are processed to museum quality.
"Digital prints have their own kind of look, and it’s fine, but fiber prints have such richness and depth." - Absolutely the point I think, there are thousands of great images being produced digitally BUT even people with no idea about the different technologies (my main collectors) express, well to me at least, an appreciation of the 'depth' of my prints. We should never forget that Ansel Adams was very excited about the potential of digital technology and would have worked hard to master the new working methods but I am sure that he would have worked towards creating digital prints that had the same depth as analogue prints. This, of course is now available, if one can afford to print digital files on conventionally processed baryta paper.
"I also find that the slower process is beautiful because it forces us to pause between each of the steps and the process is mostly a tangible one." - This, I believe, is THE key point: that analogue photography is a slower process that fosters reflection and consideration throughout it's process. I generally process my films shortly after exposure but then leave them a minimum of 4 months before deciding which to print.
Digital technology has truly freed the masses to make images that 'come out'. Being technically adept at photography is no longer a requirement for a photographer to make an image or, indeed, earn money working as a photographer. However, what remains and defines both commercial and exceptional art photographers, is how and what you photograph, your ability to create a meaningful image plus how it appears in the final print. Within these terms, it is not digital or analogue that is the debate but rather what is the final product and I would strongly suggest that the reflective nature of analogue photography delivers more thoughtful images. It is not an either/or question but rather a modus operandi question balanced with an aesthetic question of how you want your images to be judged.
I love film and I shoot digital too. I also work in IT at a university art computer lab. We are always upgrading the Camera RAW import plugins for Adobe Bridge for all the new DSLRs that the school buys. If this happens in the analog world, we'd upgrade our film developing reels and enlargers for every new SLR. I tell the students that I use film gear older than they are. Blows them away. I'm a cheap geezer.
“We are buried beneath the weight of information, which is being confused with knowledge; quantity is being confused with abundance and wealth with happiness.
We are monkeys with money and guns.”
― Tom Waits
Well, it may be true that the good-old darkroom-wizardry, as it was in the olden days, is more or less gone - as an industry.
It doesn't make sense for anyone who shoots commercially or needs to deliver fast, to do it with film, it's just plain logic.
However, film and darkroom as an art-form is imo no way on it's way out just yet.
My impression, me being on a lot of social media and all :P, is that people fall in love with shots made from film and/or processed prints.
Shots made with Collodion spread virally like wildfire on the social media, where people constantly ohh and aahh and re-share it, same with most other good film-based work.
There are also a few new faces to the scene, younger people taking up the old ways, collodion being one among many.
But it has become a niche for sure.
It may just be just as well, digital photos, no matter how good, are being traded off for pennies at stock-photo sites, many magazines has moved to the web and are getting a lot of free material
- because when they publish it, is is "great promotion" for the models and photographers etc, fubar!
And don't complain about film/paper/chem prices please, everything cost money....next time you feel that the prices are high, think about all the bagles or hamburgers you could have skipped instead, that crap sure as heck is expensive poop in cheap wrappings (or when you buy a new iPhone because the old one is.....old...., or spurge on useless things, like new shoes and things ^_^ )
Keep doing what we all do, one day when I have something worth wile, I will hold an exhibition and sell like hot-cakes to all the people who have forgotten how to create beauty with film, paper and what have you
Last edited by Helinophoto; 09-23-2013 at 04:19 PM. Click to view previous post history.
I think film gives a look that digital can't give, and probably never will be able to give. Two totally different mediums. True, for a LOT of people, film is not worth their time and trouble. Some people don't see much difference between images made from the two, which astounds me, but there it is. I look at it like this. Most people are wanna be photographers, or lousy photographers. The very good/great photographers are a tiny, tiny minority, and that's as it should be. Film won't help them if that's the case. True, a good photographer can make a good image w/ any camera, but only film gives a film look. You STILL have to have a great subject, correct exposure, etc to make a great photograph though. Most importantly, you have to have a good eye, and that's something that cannot be taught or learned. Someone w/ that gift would be more naturally inclined to use film in my mind, and no, I can't explain why, but I'd bet the farm on it.
My background is art, and I assure you, most artists are lousy artists. How many people make etchings or lithographs these days? But for those who have an appreciation for the images those processes are capable of, and who are willing to devote the time and energy into mastering the mediums, it's worth it. Same w/ film. It is becoming an art form, and not something for the consumers/masses. But as I said, you still have to have something to say. Otherwise, you're doing what I see over and over again these days. Plenty of people who have absolutely nothing to say, but are capable of saying it beautifully w/ technically clean, sharp images. They have missed the point.
Last edited by momus; 09-23-2013 at 04:32 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Speaking as one who has been involved in the photo industry for over 50 years, that is the way the analogue camera industry behaved before the advent of digital imaging. Every PMA or Photokina always had something newer and better. Nothing has changed.
Originally Posted by DREW WILEY
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True, but digital certainly made it faster, faster, faster I do love the way a lot of digital friends admire my darkroom prints though-as long as grass grows green, or water runs,or brave men still have the strength to lift their cameras, the name of Ilford shall live!
"He took to writing poetry and visiting the elves: and though many shook their heads and touched their foreheads and said 'Poor old Baggins!' and though few believed any of his tales, he remained very happy till the end of his days, and those were extraordinarily long "- JRR Tolkien, ' The Hobbit '.
One of the horrors that can happen with digital can't happen with film. I was doing some cropping of digital images for a collage, and nearly hit "Yes" when it asked me if I wanted to save changes when I closed it. 4000x3000 image near suddenly became a 700x555 image. Lucky for backups!
I just wish my darkroom was permanent. I'd do a lot more printing if it was. Takedown and setup is a drag.
In life you only get one great dog, one great car, and one great woman. Pet the dog. Drive the car. Make love to the woman. Don't mix them up.
Film nowadays is an art medium. Or at least, a medium used by those who appreciate its qualities and know what they want. With patience and passion.
Agreed. Except part of the core variables that define the image and its qualities was detached from the camera and its tech: Film itself
Originally Posted by Prof_Pixel
Film did improve in steps, but being a consumable its not the same as a more lasting product (cameras) are.
I am getting some slides scanned and printed (sadly on here some choice has been lost). Printing can get expensive! But if the image is worth it, it pays it completely off; Film, dev and printing.
A point that some people commented me is: Film is expensive! ... I just think what I said above.
That's easy to get around. You should always work in versions digitally, so that you don't touch the original.
Originally Posted by Wolfeye
"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
Originally Posted by Wolfeye
I remember a case at Kodak were a darkroom worker was working on some historically significant negatives on 35mm nitrate film base and managed to destroy several images. I was asked to see if I could recover them using the then new digital equipment we were developing, but the images were to 'fried' to recover.
It's always been possible to destroy images through carelessness.