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  1. #1
    Derek Lofgreen's Avatar
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    He told me I knew what I was doing...

    Why is it that when people see you shooting film they automatically think you must know what you are doing? (or they look at you like you have 3 eyes). I was traveling a few weeks ago and had a conversation with a TSA officer while he was inspecting my bag. He said "you must know what your doing still shoot'n film".

    I posted more on my blog, but I guess if you think about it I can make just as bad a photo using digital as I can film. Why the perception that shooting film means you know what you're doing. Does no one have confidence in shooting film? is that what it is?

    what do you think?
    My Photography Site www.lofgreenimages.com and My Blog

  2. #2
    Dan Henderson's Avatar
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    well, I think you should be glad that he said what he did, rather than something like, "uh, oh" as he pawed through your bag.


    web site: Dan Henderson, Photographer.com

    blog: https://danhendersonphotographer.wordpress.com/

    I am not anti-digital. I am pro-film.

  3. #3
    lxdude's Avatar
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    Because any old fool can use digital. And is. :rolleyes:
    Take it as a compliment.
    I do use a digital device in my photographic pursuits when necessary.
    When someone rags on me for using film, I use a middle digit, upraised.

  4. #4
    rjbuzzclick's Avatar
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    I get the impression that a greater percentage of folks that shoot digital (as opposed to film), including some that shoot professionally, leave the camera on full auto mode and don't know anything technically beyond that. They still get results that work for them, but the camera is doing most of the work. So in that sense, someone shooting with a film camera, especially a fully manual camera, gives the impression that they know what they're doing, because they have to interact with the camera more.

    This is, of course, independent of the artistic merits of the photo being taken, which can be just as good or bad in either format.
    Reid

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

    "If I had a nickel for every time I had to replace a camera battery, I'd be able to get the #@%&$ battery cover off!" -Me

  5. #5
    Shawn Dougherty's Avatar
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    I sometimes fall into the same trap as I believe you have. We both love photography, it is our passion. Most people do not, at least to the same extent. When we stumble into someone else's area of expertise we might sound just as ignorant to them, despite having the best of intentions. Lighten up, I'm trying to do the same. =)

    Shawn

  6. #6
    keithwms's Avatar
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    I have gotten some very nice comments from TSA, actually. Quite a few of the older folks really take an interest in the gear and wonder why I use it, and I've gotten in quite a few conversations on the side. My usual practice is to ask upfront for a handcheck and to be as professional and courteous as possible... and guess what, they've always treated me excellently. When they realize that I have (typically) two camera systems and 30 rolls of film in the bag they generally treat me like royalty.

    The only time I incurred the wrath of the TSA was when attempting to transport crab dip in my personal baggage, but that is another story.

    I should probably report that getting film through the Mexico City airport was very difficult. Perhaps 35mm would have been easier, but I had nothing but 120 and they had literally no one there who knew what it was. The labels did not assuage their fears (120 does, after all, look like ammo) In the end they had to hold up each and every roll to the ceiling camera, to be okayed by some remote individual. All in all, the delay was ~45 mins and it was extremely fortunate that I gave myself 2 hours there.
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

    [APUG Portfolio] [APUG Blog] [Website]

  7. #7
    BetterSense's Avatar
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    I've had digital/casual photographers tell me on more than one occasion "Wow you must be serious; I'm not good enough to shoot film". I don't quite understand it, but whatever. I don't know the first thing about digital photography and when they go into their technobabble conversations about the latest Mujitsu Pictionator 9000s with all of their crazy computerational mouse clicky stuff I gloss over...they must be serious...I think I'm not good enough to do digital.
    f/22 and be there.

  8. #8
    Leighgion's Avatar
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    I don't see anything hard to understand here.

    The reality is that digital photography has become the norm now, and film a niche. Since film photography requires handling more bits of stuff, more steps and more details to get to the end result, it's naturally going to either be viewed as backward, or elite by the general public; since the path of least resistance/overhead would be shooting digital, one who shoots film therefore must either be a) crazy or b) know what they're doing to have chosen to take all that extra complication on.

    You happened to draw a TSA man who believes (or at least was polite enough to appear to believe) the later.

  9. #9

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    Film photography has always had a running subtext of "will this come out?".
    It will if: the camera is set for a good exposure, in focus, the shot is composed ok, and there are no mishaps in processing or other handling. The confirmation of how well all that worked is hours, days or perhaps months from the time the picture is made.
    The better your skills are at those things, the less doubt there is about "will this come out". OTH with digital cameras you know immediatly if it's going to come out, and no skills are percieved to be required to insure that.
    So it's not surprising that using film implies that the photographer has great skill to people who don't have the confidence level with film that those of us who use it routinely might.

  10. #10
    jp498's Avatar
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    If you shoot film, you are one of three people:
    1. a luddite who doesn't own a computer or only uses the computer for AOL to send email in all caps.
    2. a vastly experienced photographer who has decades of experience and still chooses to shoots film because he/she likes that medium.
    3. a very young digitally trained photographer who has the skills and confidence (because you can't chimp) and learning ability to pick up film and do a good job with that too.

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