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  1. #21

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    The preference for analog is a mixture of several things in various proportions depending on the person:

    -It's what we know how to do
    -We enjoy the "magic" of photo-chemical processes
    -We enjoy the tactile experience of darkroom work
    -We work with computers in our day jobs and prefer not to use them for hobbies
    -We want to make everything ourselves from A-Z (wet plate etc etc.)
    -Nostalgia

    There are some other purported reasons people cite, but I don't think they hold much water at this point, and they have little to do with art:

    -Analog is higher quality
    -An image on film has some sort of inherent "integrity"
    -You have to be better with film because you can't shoot as much volume (see "machine-gun")

  2. #22

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    To me it is simply I enjoy film better.

    Jeff

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R 1974 View Post
    The preference for analog is a mixture of several things in various proportions depending on the person:

    -It's what we know how to do
    -We enjoy the "magic" of photo-chemical processes
    -We enjoy the tactile experience of darkroom work
    -We work with computers in our day jobs and prefer not to use them for hobbies
    -We want to make everything ourselves from A-Z (wet plate etc etc.)
    -Nostalgia

    There are some other purported reasons people cite, but I don't think they hold much water at this point, and they have little to do with art:

    -Analog is higher quality
    -An image on film has some sort of inherent "integrity"
    -You have to be better with film because you can't shoot as much volume (see "machine-gun")
    To which reasons I'll add:
    I enjoy using low-tech, high-performance obsolete technology. An old, finely made camera - say an M3, or a Nikon F, or (even!) a good Kiev 4a is a joy to hold and use, giving results fully comparable to digital gear costing many thousands.
    Sometimes you can't do it with digital - an 8x10 (or any other size, from strips of 35 as bookmarks on up) contact print.
    My Deardorff is made of mahogany.
    And, I just like it. That's all the justification necessary right there.

  4. #24
    bvy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R 1974 View Post
    The preference for analog is a mixture of several things in various proportions depending on the person:

    -It's what we know how to do
    -We enjoy the "magic" of photo-chemical processes
    -We enjoy the tactile experience of darkroom work
    -We work with computers in our day jobs and prefer not to use them for hobbies
    -We want to make everything ourselves from A-Z (wet plate etc etc.)
    -Nostalgia

    There are some other purported reasons people cite, but I don't think they hold much water at this point, and they have little to do with art:

    -Analog is higher quality
    -An image on film has some sort of inherent "integrity"
    -You have to be better with film because you can't shoot as much volume (see "machine-gun")
    It's a good summary, but all the reasons in the first section (that do hold water?) seem self indulgent. I think you can cite something favorable about analog's abilities and qualities over digital without resorting to superlatives.

  5. #25

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    I shoot both. My digital images are sharp, bright, colorful and easily modified with photoshop or aperture. My digital images are easily shared immediately with friends and family.

    On the other hand, there is a peculiar enjoyment from analog photography. Nothing beats a well-exposed Kodachrome slide projected on a screen in a darkened room. Digital prints are so easy and idiot-proof, that I enjoy the art of creating black and white film images. I think twice before pressing the shutter with analog - with digital and a large SD card, I am tempted to randomly shoot multiple images in the hope that something comes out of it.

    Some of the attraction is nostalgic - I grew up shooting Kodachrome with an Instamatic.

    There is also the physicality of film. I have Kodachrome slides from a college trip to Europe in 1981 which look brand-new. When I hold the mount, I also know that this very piece of celluloid was with me on that trip. I took a trip with my wife and daughter in 2009, during a period when I was digital-only. Although I have priceless family snapshots from that trip, the emotional connection with the images isn't the same. I suspect younger photographers will never really understand this feeling, since most never developed an attachment to film.

  6. #26
    dpurdy's Avatar
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    My involvement with the craft needs to be more than staring at a monitor and clicking a mouse.

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by bvy View Post
    It's a good summary, but all the reasons in the first section (that do hold water?) seem self indulgent. I think you can cite something favorable about analog's abilities and qualities over digital without resorting to superlatives.
    They hold water because they are simply personal preferences for a type of work, materials, technology etc. They are subjective. E. Von Hoegh sums it up well. We just like it, and that's all the reason you need.

    When it comes to objectively favourable or superior qualities of analog over digital, no I'm afraid I cannot cite anything. I wish I could, but at this point digital technology has come far enough that I don't think you can really say it is inferior to analog, other than perhaps regarding certain "archival" issues (which I'm not sure I understand).

  8. #28
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    You've eaten a fine cooked meal and can't stand microwave dinners.
    "Photography, like surfing, is an infinite process, a constantly evolving exploration of life."
    Aaron Chang

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by snapguy View Post
    Digital images are like nitrate film -- they will go up in smoke or be reduced to dust very soon, maybe before this century is up. Traditional silver b&w prints and negatives will last 200 years. And 200 years from now many people will be interested to see what those olde time savages (you and me) were up to.
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R 1974 View Post
    The preference for analog is a mixture of several things in various proportions depending on the person:

    ... -An image on film has some sort of inherent "integrity" ...

    These points are very prescient with me right now. All of the reasons and sentiments given are relevant and I have discovered, part of my decision and hold of film on me. I am attending a conference later this month on ecological processes and restoration of damaged grazing lands/rangelands. One day is specifically dedicated to shooting a quality landscape "photo point" as a ecological or historical reference, where a photo is taken at a specific point, landmark, GPS UTM coordinate, etc. and then retaken 5, 10, 25, 50, 100 years or so later for comparison of ecological processes, either restoration or further degradation.

    As I prepare for this conference, I have had to wonder about the longevity of digital images and the ability to access a file, or the durability of a computer print, well in the future so that ecological processes that alter a landscape can be gauged, estimated, quantified, documented and turned into sound science, thus an understanding of the natural or anthropogenic process. Can digital images successfully do that? Are they meant for archival storage and usage? I don't know, and I doubt it. This does explain some of films hold onto me, but not all of it.

    Romance of celluloid and silver halide images aside, there is a technical aspect and connection to my work as a ecologist and scientist that I do not fully trust to digital images. This forum is a wonderful place to discuss these things; I have felt somewhat isolated in my quest for film usage until now, as I am often surrounded by those who use spectral, remotely-sensed imagery to derive answers to hypothesis. But will that spectral data endure? I don't know and I don't know if the scientific community knows or will know.
    Last edited by F5B&W; 08-06-2014 at 11:23 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: Content

  10. #30
    erikg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R 1974 View Post
    The preference for analog is a mixture of several things in various proportions depending on the person:

    -It's what we know how to do
    -We enjoy the "magic" of photo-chemical processes
    -We enjoy the tactile experience of darkroom work
    -We work with computers in our day jobs and prefer not to use them for hobbies
    -We want to make everything ourselves from A-Z (wet plate etc etc.)
    -Nostalgia

    There are some other purported reasons people cite, but I don't think they hold much water at this point, and they have little to do with art:

    -Analog is higher quality
    -An image on film has some sort of inherent "integrity"
    -You have to be better with film because you can't shoot as much volume (see "machine-gun")
    I would say that aesthetic qualities have everything to do with art. Perhaps you are referring to a definition of technical quality only.

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