I just tell them I only occasionally use the camera in my cell phone to check the lighting before I use my proper film camera to take the picture.
Like @papagene, I too try to relate my enjoyment of the process. People like having fun, and are jealous of other people having fun when they are not.
I've found it's a bit like talking about cooking: the process may be daunting to most people, most people understand the tastiness of the results. Yet there is always someone who will never understand why you don't just use the cheapest prepackaged mixes; it's impossible to convert those folks, so don't try.
And I've had more than one digital photographer admit that they want to try shooting film. I'm happy to go out shooting with them and lend 'em a film camera for the day.
Talking tech, IMO, is a pointless battle in a digital vs film discussion. For me the debate is mostly emotional.
The assumption in most of those debates seems to be that the same result is expected and that the same process (mine of course because I'm right ) will work for everyone.
Heck, in the real world it's tough to get landscape and portrait shooters on the same page about choosing exposure. Slide shooters and negative shooters see things differently. Pictorialist's vs f/64, journalistic vs posed style. Hurrell vs HCB.
To that end I'll answer; "Because I find using film fun and it helps me think differently about my shots and I don't want my photos to be like everybody else's."
Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO
"We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin
Camera is only an equipment. Film is only a media.
Photograph is a result of both of that AND the person holding the camera.
Skills and vision you obtain using your film camera will translate to other form of equipment. This being a class, you are learning the process, not really the equipment. It's pointless to try to explain to someone who doesn't see a value in what you do. If he/she is happy with cell phone snap shot, that's all he/she needs.
Prevalence of high grade plastic didn't obsolete clay. People still walk when car will take them there. Film photography will probably exist for decades although it may fade away from everyday uses.
Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?
""Really? I didn't know they made film anymore! What is the point when you can just use your phone? It just seems so pointless now..."
Seems to me like they don't know what to make of it or how to respond to your preference. I usually answer I prefer the organic look of film to the clean digital look and that I want to be able to view my photos when I am older" Sometimes I wax poetics about the magic of the darkroom an image appearing magically on a white sheet of paper and the contemplativness of the process.
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I always want to live a simple life , like an shepherd in the mountain , an villager at the village but my life is more complex. I did not take a single picture to be applaused by the others. Keith , reread what you are talking about.
I usually say,"yes film is still availble and I enjoy the process."
I stop at that point. In my mind that says it all.
i usually tell them my phone is a 8year phone ( take it out and show them )
and then i say film is still around, harder to find sometimes ... and its kind of fun
to shoot blind and they should try it ...
I have my own darkroom at home but I occasionally use the darkroom at the university where I work. I know the photography teacher and he lets me use the darkroom in exchange for cleaning up the place, taking out the trash and acting as a darkroom monitor. A fair trade, I think.
One night, I was in the darkroom after hours and the ceramics teacher came by and said, "Are you still using film?"
Without missing a beat, I said, "Are you still making pots out of clay?"
Haven't heard any comments since then...
I got asked this very question just a few days ago. I had a nice conversation with the other photographer (who was using a Canon 60D DSLR). I explained that I prefer the look of film, especially black and white film that I develop myself. I said that although I often scan the negatives, I do have access to a darkroom and that nothing compares to a real optical print. Finally I told her how I also make my own developers sometimes, and that this process is more "hands on" than digital could ever be (for me at any rate). I think she understood my point.
For me, the camera is a sketch book, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity.
― Henri Cartier-Bresson
Yashica Lynx 14e, Nikon F3, and an assortment of homemade pinhole cameras...