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  1. #1

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    It's complicated...

    For some reason, the image of an analog photographer in my head is basically this guy. "Oh please, the first edition of The Print is far superior."

    Has traditional photography become something of an intimidatingly snooty and exclusive club? I feel like the biggest deterrent for newcomers is the idea that there's too much to learn, that they're going to bump into Analog Photography Guy and be shot down for their ignorance.

    Back when it was just called 'photography', any idiot would have a go in the darkroom without hesitation or fear of ridicule. Since the principals haven't changed in the last 20 years, why has it suddenly become more complicated? That digital is easier hasn't changed the inherent difficulty level of analog photography - easy - as past generations will testify. Yet, there's a certain smugness we all have in thinking film photography is... hard. Why?

    I'm conscious that I suffer from this mentality. Something builds up inside of me when I meet a photographer - that uncontrollable urge to divulge; "I shoot film". I'm telling the person this because there's an underlying implication, especially if they shoot digital, that I'm incredibly serious about photography, I have depth and intelligence and a great wealth of knowledge, because film is complicated. So what was the excuse pre-digital?

  2. #2

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    It's not just that we're "incredibly serious" about photography, it's that we're BETTER than them! ;-)

  3. #3

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    well said.

    the blessed roger hicks wrote something I like to remember (mostly because - despite 40-odd years shooting film - I've only just begun developing film and doing darkroom work) :

    "Photography sometimes attracts people with a very high opinion of their own expertise, and a predilection for bossing others about. Listen to some of them, and you will be amazed that silver halide photography ever succeeded at all, given that it is so difficult, complicated, and expensive. Except it isn't.

  4. #4

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    Roger speaks from considerable introspection there!

  5. #5

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    I expect he'd agree, and of course his tongue is often lodged deep in cheek ... but his observation remains accurate, to my mind.

    batwister's point rather hits the nail on the head.

    Have a look at the responses newcomers are offered when they come to APUG, state they are beginners and then suggest they want to try something a bit different and ask for advice ... mostly it is "you mustn't do that until you know what you are doing" ...

  6. #6
    BradS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by batwister View Post
    Yet, there's a certain smugness we all have in thinking film photography is... hard.
    Yeah, I think there were always a few people who were smug like this...the difference today is that whereas 20 or 30 years ago there were a small number of smug bastards in a big ocean of common folk shooting film, now we have the same small number of smug bastards in a small pond of traditional photographers...

    I think the key is to not let yourself become one of the smug bastards...

  7. #7

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    My experience has not been that with analogue photographers, in fact in general, most of the people I have met shooting film over the last 5 years have been people who have come digital-film. Myself, I have gone film-digital-mix! I think a lot who started on film stopped, and a lot who had never tried film were intrigued to try (thanks partially to the next to zero cost of decent film bodies). Perhaps its just London but film here seems more playful and experimental than snooty. I still shoot digital if its a paid shoot.
    i shoot primes though on digital and on film, and shooting on primes just is better, period

  8. #8
    eddie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BradS View Post
    Yeah, I think there were always a few people who were smug like this...
    True. But back then smug was large format over 35mm. You can now shoot 35mm and be smug. We're more inclusive in our smugness nowadays. Progress...

  9. #9
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    When somebody tries to give me that blah-blah about traditional photography being too complicated, I show them this picture of my nephew:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Then I tell them the story of the day we went out to Presque Isle and shot pictures. I showed him how to load and how to use the camera. He did the rest. I even stopped to ask him if he needed help changing film and he said, "No, I already did, about ten minutes ago."

    We went home and developed the film. I showed him how to put the film on the reels and put it in the tank. He loaded his own film. I showed him what chemicals to use and how long to time his development. He did the rest by himself. We hung the film up to dry then had some dinner.

    When dinner was over and the film was dry, we went into the darkroom and I showed him how to print. He made two or three prints of his own negatives and he did it all by himself. The whole time, I only stood by and watched to make sure he did everything safely.

    My nephew went home that night with three photographs that he made himself from scratch.

    So, when those people bellyache about how hard it is to develop film, I say to them, "If my 12-year old nephew can learn to do it in one day, anybody can!"

    Most people get really quiet, right about then...

    The reason why people don't use film is because they are too damn lazy!
    They would spend just as much time sitting in front of their computer screen, twiddling digits, as they might spend in the darkroom making real photographs, all the while complaining about how much less work it is to make digi-photos. No! They're just too lazy to get up off their fat asses and go down to the darkroom!

    That's the way I see it and, if that means I'm smug then, so be it! :finger:
    Randy S.

    In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni.

    -----

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/randystankey/

  10. #10
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    The reason why people don't use film is because they are too damn lazy!
    Or impatient. Maybe they are one in the same in this cocontext.
    WYSIWYG - At least that's my goal.

    Portfolio-http://apug.org/forums/portfolios.php?u=25518

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