The consumer electronics steamroller started well before digital. Look at the endleaf ads of any old NG magazine and you'll encounter some silly
diabtribe from Canon or Nikon why you just absolutely had to own their very latest 35mm with all the coolest bells and whistle, if you want to
get pictures like those in the magazine (which generally didn't impress me much, either). I don't necessary despise the newer technologies per se, but I do find the spend, spend, spend craze of new for the sake of new to involve some pretty dumb cultural and economic priorities - unless of course, you happen to be one of those Silicon Valley types who depends on gadget addiction to feed his own continuing income.
Putting a cooler camera in front of a doofy photographer won't make his images any less doofy.
Great input everyone. The fact is that most everyone says film and paper is expensive, but fail to mention the upgrading to a bigger and better digital camera, larger media cards for that camera, a new computer to keep track of the media, backups in the form of raids and external hard drives, and software upgrades, which would, and does, buy a lot of everything I need to capture, develop, and print true silver images.
Instant gratification, yes, but not for me. I use digital for some things, but you can't compare opening a digital file in Photoshop to watching your image slowly appear in the darkroom.
Seneca/National 8x10, Cambo SCX 4x5, Tachihara Wood Field 4x5, Busch Pressman 4x5, Mamiya RB67 Pro SD, Hasselblad 500 C/M, Mamiya M645 1000S, Nikon F5, Nikon F100, Nikon F4S, Nikon FM2 Chrome.
Don't forget the price of ink and good quality inkjet paper! Huge cost.
Originally Posted by akfotog
Either way, photography is expensive when done right. Period. It's all about what we love to do. I hope to do my part in keeping it alive, by showing my best work to those who appreciate it.
"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
Would you prefer 110 8x10's lined up at vista point? LOL ... let the kids go ADD ... the rest of us can take our sweet time!
Originally Posted by DREW WILEY
Film, A Dying Art, Really
A dying product, yes, it is.
'Cows are very fond of being photographed, and, unlike architecture, don't move.' - Oscar Wilde
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No. It is not dying, it is just no longer mainstream and is niche, having joined the ranks of alternative process. If you or anyone else is hell bent on finding all signs that point to death, then that is what you personally will find. But if you are like me and talk to the larger galleries, the staff at the New York Times and Chris Anderson of Magnum like I did this weekend, you will find that it is niche and alive and well as such.
Originally Posted by batwister
Photography hasn't replaced paintings & drawings completely. CD's haven't replaced vinyl records completely. So digital photography will not replace film photography completely. There's enough interest in it. Both film and digital photography can lead to excellent results. Neither medium is superior despite another thread on this forum but both have their pro and cons. Just like everything else in life.
As someone put it in another forum: People still walk or ride a bike from A to B while it goes much faster in a car. Why? Because people like to walk and bike. The same goes for film photography and darkroom printing. People like doing it. And models are in awe when you press the shutter on a medium format SLR; "wow, that's wild".
I shoot both BW film & digital (colour) and see no reason to give up on one or the other.
People still cook while there are TV dinners also.
"Photography, like surfing, is an infinite process, a constantly evolving exploration of life."
Sometimes with digital, the failure is in the medium, not in the handling by the photographer. I do multiple backups of all my digital images but what happens when the tragedy occurs before you can back them up - or even accidentally delete them?
Last weekend I shot a wedding for a good friend of mine with my Nikon D7000. After using the same memory card for ~500 shots all day long, I was about to shoot the bride tossing her bouquet. My camera wouldn't fire. At first I thought the problem was the AF in the dim light, but when I looked down the LCD was flashing "Err." I quickly swapped cards and kept going. On the ride back to our hotel, I tried to view the contents of the original card, only to see an error on the rear display that the card was damaged and to insert another! I felt literally sick at the prospect of losing all the wedding, formal and much of the reception shots.
When I got back to the room, I immediately tried the card in my laptop. The files were visible, but importing them directly into Lightroom prompted a BSOD. I restarted and was able to copy them manually to the hard drive then import them into LR afterward. Thankfully, I didn't lose any photos despite an evidently flaky/ failing card (Kingston 32GB). I've never had an SD card fail like that, and I'm always careful to reformat them in camera after each use. The night could easily have ended in disaster if my efforts to recover the files had failed.
While I could have potentially added some safety steps (using multiple, smaller SD cards and/or using two cards at once instead of leaving card 2 as spillover), the incident was a reminder of just how fragile those 1s and 0s are. Sure, you can mess up a roll of film. But at most you've lost 36 exposures, not 500. And even then, chances are you could recover some image in many situations. But bits and bytes do not a photo make, and until you've got multiple backups - and preferably real prints - they're just digital files.
Originally Posted by lancekingphoto
Even with film lots of bad things can happen between the time you take a picture and the time you have prints in your hand.