Who are we?
Me being a philosophical kind of person and not having any urgent technical questions to bother you all with I thought I would enlighten your dull experiences with my keen observations regarding who shoots film.
I have found that two kinds of people are overrepresented as film shooters. Artists and IT-people. Artists, musicians, painters, other type of artsy-partsy people seem to enjoy film. Makes sense as they would be the kind of person who does not care too much what other people say and also like to try different form of their art.
But IT-people? My people? My tribe. Why are there more than you should think among IT-proffessionals who shoot analog?
I think the answer is partly that an IT-pro gets enough digital during the work day and likes to unwind with old, analog stuff during his own time. And they are seldom fundamentalists about using film. Most (me included) owns two or more digital cameras and use them also.
Could it be that so many IT-pro:s like to shoot film because they don't have to worry about their digi-cred. They have it. They know digital technology better than most guys and hence aren't ashamed to use old technology. Maybe a welder or stock broker feels that his digi-cred would suffer if he walked around with an old TLR?
Or maybe I am making too much out of what is after all a very small sample.....
IT people may simply be more comfortable with forum-based communication and hence may be slightly over-represented on forums like APUG.
In the world beyond forums, I have a diverse set of friends from all walks of life who shoot film, I don't see any clear trends. It's a fairly even split between sci/tech people, artists, portraitists and journalists.
I think it's because IT people have a better understanding of the limitations of digital. This is, of course, assuming you're shooting MF or LF. A digital outfit to rival MF/LF quality would cost $30K or more just for the basics... body, back, laptop, one lens... and could easily rise to more than $50-60K for a well-equipped kit. Even then your just barely reaching 4x5 quality. Digital quality beyond 4x5 isn't currently possible without stitching... so single shot digital rivalling anything larger than 4x5 film? Fahgetaboutit!!
My wife claims that I have an old soul. As we are a Christian family and we don't ascribe to the Shirley-Maclane-Which-Life-Am-I-On-Now train of thought, it is the only soul I have and it will be about a old as I am. But you are familiar with the phrase.
I have an analog watch. I conceded to the automatic pendulum winder, but it shows the gearing and makes the noise. No batteries. I shoot black and white film with a 70 year old camera. I drive a Jeep and yearn for a really old one. I keep a journal, written with ink on paper.
If it old I gravitate towards its use. It suits me. The only 'modern' thing I use on a regular basis is the very thing I type this post on. Were it not for some modern things I would not have met you fine folks.
Why do I kick it old school whenever possible? I guess because it suits me. I just prefer things that way. And now, back to 'To Kill A Mockingbird'.
The funny thing is that I was an IT guy for 15 years until my doctor told me that the stress was going to kill me. ( worked on mission critical healthcare systems) So I chucked it all and became an art photographer.
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Not intending to be facetious... just genuinely want to know... how's your income now vs. then?
Originally Posted by photomem
I am a software developer for a major software firm - that makes me an IT guy.
I use both digital and film and I choose between the two depending on the purpose and my mood. If I have a job to do, such as shoot-this-or-that and in color, I use digital. If I'm in creative mood and want black and white, I use film. I like the exactness of digital and I like how few things are left to chance in B&W film and processing.
I got into analog partly because I got tired of seeing equipment obsoleting so rapidly and new stuff coming out every few months. Also, I didn't like the fact digital media has such a narrow dynamic range. For some scenes, there isn't really a good way to capture the entire scene without blowing something. I also find, film work removed from everything else I do. Variety is nice sometimes. I find darkroom work relaxing and a place I can forget everything else.
I am not a die-hard analog person. I find both enjoyable for different reasons.
Oh, let's not forget... in film world, it's so much cheaper to fill one's GAS addiction....
Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?
My tribe are the artists... the actors, singers, musicians, the dancers, the painters and sculptors... people who take months crafting a performance or piece of art. (people who stay up late and drink a lot of wine/beer/scotch ) For them, the gestation of art often moves at speeds only measurable on a geological scale. Seven and a half min at 20 degrees C, followed by an evening in the darkroom is a fraction of the time they would consider requisite to create a true work of art. "you made four prints last night? Slow down, Speedy."
That being said, most of the artists I know who are not specifically photographers are snap-silly digi shooters. (mostly of faces around a restaurant table)
Tom, on Point Pelee, Canada
Ansel Adams had the Zone System... I'm working on the points
system. First I points it here, and then I points it there...
Analog process is a lot slower than digital,and never been to swift with computers.Driven and worked on trucks for many years,all of them are analog also,1985 and older.Like to tinker around and analog gives me that opportunity, a nice slow type of expression.
My thoughts exactly.
Originally Posted by tkamiya
You seem to be a very wise person.
Last edited by Mats_A; 03-06-2010 at 12:20 PM. Click to view previous post history.