You are assuming that you have to mail off your film to get processed. Part of the learning process, at least when an instructor is involved, should be teaching how to process your own (black-and-white) film. It's a foundational thing - if you get to understand not only how to capture an image from a compositional standpoint, but also how the image is produced and how to control how that image is rendered in the final print, you will be in a much better position to execute your vision whether you do it digitally or analog. When you process your own, you can have that feedback in as little as 30 minutes. If you learn how to develop color film (which really isn't any more complicated than black-and-white, just trickier in regards to maintaining proper temperature), you can have the same 30-minute feedback. Or, at least in most metropolitan areas, there's still a good lab around, and still a reasonable supply of 1-hour minilabs (no guarantees on the quality of their work).
Originally Posted by Brian Puccio
The term is wrong
There's no "analog" camera. Only a film camera.
Originally Posted by Steven L
Absolutely, Vaughn! And, it is the hardest thing to learn (and hard to teach as well). That's why most focus on cameras, film and developers instead.
Originally Posted by Vaughn
I really like the idea of starting with one lens (which is all some rather famous photographers used), forcing the photographer to use his/her feet, eyes and brain.
Nikon 35mm, Mamiya 645 & RB67, Leica IIIb, other bits and pieces
The University, Art School and even the CC teach photography and they ALL start students out with film. They run the whole gamut by teaching shooting, developing and printing. By doing it this way they teach patience in waiting for the final print. The student is focused more on how the camera is set up from metering correctly and composition by seeing the subject and framing in the view finder. Shooting film takes away all pretense and puts all the emphasis on the subject before you and not on the back of the camera. How does a teacher keep a student from looking/chimping or deleting, we have become a Nation of instant gratification, we want it NOW. Film humbles you, makes you slow down and consider the shot before you take it. Digital, there is no learning curve, spray and pray and fix in PS.
Thy heart -- thy heart! -- I wake and sigh,
And sleep to dream till day
Of the truth that gold can never buy
Of the bawbles that it may.
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I learned on film. But shoot both. It sounds to me like the class was one for photoshop not one for photography. They are separate beasts and photoshop has been a sore spot for film users since its creation. I teach my students (basic photography) with whatever camera they own. My philosophy is the same, take your time, get it right in camera and use the darkroom/photoshop to compleat your art.
Get it right in camera is how photography should be taught. It's how I was taught, it's how I teach. Teaching PS its important to know everything the program can do so you work efficiently and quickly. I personally would rather be making images with my camera then sitting at my desk. So I work hard to nail the shot.
When I started with Digital 8 years ago I had a huge learning curve. The dinamic range was killing me. Old habits die hard. And learning photoshop was hard, very difficult to get it right. So easy to over do it. Anyway that's my .02¢
Rubbish. Film produces an analog analog of the scene. A digital sensor produces a digital analog of the scene.
Originally Posted by waileong
Learning to see is the most important thing. Who cares what cameras are used?
Film can be good, because it teaches patience and a contemplative approach, and with manual cameras forces an understanding of the mechanics of aperture, shutter speed, film speed, etc.
Digital can be good, because it teaches composition, framing, and light very effectively, with immediate feedback, where you can see what went wrong.
I think in this day and age a combination of both is good, but don't ever lose track of helping the student to see. You can use a Diana or a Hasselblad H-series. If you can't see the rest is pretty much worthless. You can't polish a turd, as they say.
"...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera".
- Yousuf Karsh
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit".
processing and printing has nothing to do with making good photographs.
its about seeing, and understanding how to use one's equipment, not processing film in the darkroom.
processing film and making prints just leads to bragging rights, and suggesting something is better because
it was made by whoever made it in a darkroom, in the end it doesn't matter ...
That all depends on how it is taught - if the instructor is an insecure asshole who feels a need to claim superiority based on use of a specific process, then it doesn't matter if they're teaching digital or film - they'll be teaching a "my way or the highway" approach to image-making. The point, in my perspective, of starting with film is to provide not only good fundamental skills, but also historical perspective - so many tools in Photoshop or other image editing programs have their roots in wet darkroom/traditional graphic arts studio practices. What you're talking about is image-making without regard to process, and when you are speaking of image-making, I agree that making a good image has less to do with the craft employed to produce it than it does having the vision to percieve and/or invent the image in the first place. However, I thought this discussion was about how to learn the craft of photography. Learning the CRAFT of photography is very much about building technical skills to execute the image-maker's vision. And lets face it - if you don't have the technical chops to execute your vision, we won't know if your end result executes your vision or not, and you certainly won't be able to repeat your execution. I'm not saying that every photographic image has to be an f64/Ansel Adams, full tonal-range, maximum acutance image to be artistically successful. But if your goal is to produce images of beer-laden vomit (or even USING beer-laden vomit as a developer), you need to know HOW the beer-laden vomit interacts with your other media so you can do it again and get a controlled variation of the original result. That's true regardless of whether you're puking on silver-gelatin paper or on an inkjet print.
Originally Posted by jnanian