Many people are unhappy with their film results because they don't invest the time to learn the craft.
A lot of the "difficulty" is psychologocal.
I read so much about people on here bitching about hauling around their 8x10 camera, that i started thinking mine was a pita too, and stopped using it for about a year. Then i picked it up, and it wasn't ALL that bad. Mine specifically is a pita because it doesn't fold in any way shape or form, but that makes it simple to set up and stable, if bulky. It's all how you look at it.
It didn't get more complicated. I think it's two things.
1) rest of the world got simpler
2) we sometimes are way too serious!
Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?
I think this is also true of many who use digital. My opinion is that these people want things to be easy, and if something they expected to be easy turns out to involve work, they drop it and go try something else. I've had a few students with this attitude.
Originally Posted by EASmithV
Maybe you are Comic Book Guy?
Originally Posted by batwister
I shoot digital almost every day, in addition to my film work. Most people who shoot film and turn their nose up at digital don't realize that digital carries with it its own set of complications and difficulties, if you are to do it properly. Saying "digital is easier" is like saying that it's easier to run ten miles than to swim ten miles. They are both difficult. It is not any easier to make a significant photograph in the digital age than it was 40 years ago. The method of making the image may have changed, and perhaps sped up the process of knowing that the resulting image either is or isn't of significance, but it certainly hasn't made it any easier.
This sort of snooty bias cuts both ways. There are plenty of digital photographers who are "incredibly serious" about their work, yet anyone can make a digital photo today. 100 years ago, Kodak said "you push the button, we do the rest." What's the difference?
I've posted before about a level of "beneficial ignorance". In the old days beginners often took introductory classes and read Kodak publications as well as relatively non-technical books like the Time Life series. They went into the darkroom excited, not scared, and did it. Now, instead, beginners start with overly complicated books and come to forums where they find out about the 1,001 things that might go wrong and the excruciating minutiae that make the difference between good and bad results. Not to mention mountains of plain bad information (in books too). One could easily get the impression analog photography is nearly impossible to do without years of technical study and a truck full of expensive equipment.
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"Beneficial ignorance"- I like that. It's how I started in 1970. It's how I continue in 2013. I've just managed to find new photo things to be ignorant about...
Originally Posted by Michael R 1974
I think in today's world digital is easier - to find supplies for, to find salespeople selling, to see adds for, and to reach in your pocket and take a photo with your phone.
In other words it is more commonplace and more oriented to the "snapshot" world.
I am a member of a fairly large (~100 members) photo club. Almost everyone is shooting digital, although at least a fair number have good quality RA4 prints made out of their work. Many of them do very complex things (much of it in "post") but at least a few of them are just as "photographic" with their point-and-shoot and cell phone cameras as they are with their DSLRs.
And as for complexity, nothing we do with film and darkroom exceeds what some of them do with Photoshop and ink selection.
“Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”
Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2
I believe that's the wrong way to teach.
Originally Posted by Michael R 1974
If you want to teach photography to anybody, put a camera in his hand and tell him to go shoot pictures.
That's the way my father taught me. He handed me a camera and said, "If you break this, I'll break you!" He kicked me in the ass and told me not to come back until I had shot the entire roll.
That's the way I taught my nephew, except without the threats or the ass kicking.
You know, even when a person wants to learn how to fly an airplane (even if only a Cessna) he gets to take the controls at least part of the time. The instructor handles the takeoff and landing, of course.
The point is, that to learn anything, the student has to be involved. You're right. If you force people to sit in a classroom they aren't going to want to learn. If that's the way people are teaching photography, no wonder the general public think it's hard.
I often tell people, if they want to learn photography, they can learn the basics in an afternoon. I've never had anybody except Daniel take me up on the offer, though.
Well, if BW film photography is not difficult, how is it I still sometimes phuq up after forty years constant work
I used to belong to a club in UK where every one shot black and white and colour was kept to the realms of slides, then it changed gradually and colour prints came to the fore, or at least were looked upon as being on the same level as B&W. People who belonged to the club were knowledgeable about developers, papers, lighting, film, and almost anything else connected with the craft. They were always glad to give advice and to pass this knowledge on to those who were just getting interested. not in a complicated sort of way, but on a level even a child of 10 could grasp easily.
Gradually digital reared it's ugly head, more and more people gave up on darkroom work, some because it released another room in the house for normal purposes, some because they were after something that they could not produce in the darkroom. It may be easy to some, but so is driving but we won't all become skilled drivers.
I have found after perhaps 13-14 years of people using digital to make pictures the depth of knowledge about what makes a photograph 'tick' has diminished so we now have a load of people who can make pictures but have no real grasp on how it happens nor do they much care. I have always understood that knowing about the tools you are using is fundamental in getting the best results. Is it lazyness? I tend to think so.
So currently, I am the only member of my present club who uses a dark room, makes slides, and surprisingly, one of only a few who print there own. I listen to them speaking as if they were all professors in computer sciences and think what has this got to do with photography. I say nothing and go on my own way. What I will say is I am few up with seeing badly composed, over saturated, over sharpened photographs accepted as 'perfect' when submitted for competitions. Again I keep my own council.