No, there's one thing the digi format is missing: reality proof. In the cult of HCB that I'm in, you gotta have BLACK BORDERS to make your point stand out and clear!
Originally Posted by aparat
If I had taken these photos(see the attachment files) with a mid-format camera with a wider lens and cropped them and so on, instead of using a 35mm camera with a 50mm prime lens and shooting full frame, I would've somehow lost the energy that was in the scenes...
I must be honest, I found the writing to be a difficult read, at best. Not that I couldn't read the words as they are written, but I could not determine the central purpose for the writing. I must assume the writer would like to put a 35mm camera and a roll of perforated film on a pedestal. There's nothing wrong with having an idea, but putting the idea in a format that is readable requires a certain amount of labor. Consider the differences between composing a photograph and taking a snapshot. What I found in the writing was a mishmash of ideas, concepts, assumptions, and random thoughts bound together by unnecessary catch phrases. Could this really be an essay about catch phrases? Secondly, all of the photographs provided with the text could have been taken with a Kodak box camera, or a 110 instamatic, a 6x6 TLR, or even a 5x7 slr. The photographs do make good filler, but they do not support the writing. Other than that, kudos on a job well done. Cheers! Dann :D
Well, I found it thought-provoking. I can't say I've ever thought about the format that deeply, and am impressed that you have.
Here's what resonated most with me: your link between the roll of 35mm film and memory. Your point, I think, was that the film must be developed at a later time and contains too many different frames to be fully remembered beforehand. When the roll is processed, memory is restored. I totally love this. Also, with regard to 35mm film in particular, so many of us have albums (or shoeboxes) filled with family pictures taken in 35mm film. That also powerfully connects 35mm with the larger concept of memory, or history.
I also appreciate your (metaphorical) comparison of a 35mm format picture to a word, while larger format negatives are more like a paragraph. I am aware that you purposely are talking about different and more public subjects, but if you will forgive me, I will again mention the humble genre of family pictures. My mother recently received a copy of a professional studio shot of her father and his brothers that was taken 80-90 years ago. It was interesting to look at. I focussed on how they looked, dressed and wore their hair. I tried in vain to connect the very young man in the picture to either my memory of the very old man I knew (he died about 25 years ago), or to my mother, myself and my siblings. The picture itself was a complete thought. But I couldn't really read it, to be honest. In contrast, when I look at our family's 35mm pictures, what I find is a story told by an accumulation. The very quantity of pictures of each event adds up to the story. Of, say, my daughter's first Christmas, or my childhood trip out West. There is no need for one picture to tell a whole story, and no pretense that it could. That's both a strength and a weakness of the 35mm format. But I like it, as you do.
Your comment that "35mm begs for collage" also struck me. I think that's true. I had never considered it before in exactly those terms. But I find it inspiring.
Thank you for the effort you made in this essay, and thanks for calling it to my attention. -Laura
Funny, I just did a blog post on 35mm after I was inspired by the bias for the format by a group of college students I spoke with. I was taken aback, they didn't care about medium format, or large format...or gear really. And these kids all have access to gear galore.
There's a young generation out that's grown up seeing, Terry Richardson, Jeurgen Teller and later Ryan McGinley, Cass Bird, (and the general aesthetic of anyone, say, repped by mslogan) or anyone part of the London fashion aesthetic (Roger Deckker)...kids who respond more to Newtow and Bourdin then any of the classics...
I found it inspiring, and it opened my eyes to see them respond to this work like I responded to Penn and Avedon and Roversi when I was their age. I'm interested to see where they take the industry in 20 years.
I think digital is too fast. It takes something away, being able to snap off so many pictures without even a thought. It seems to remove some of the value from photography, turning it into some sort of endless avalanche of mostly useless pictures. When the "limiting factors" of film and film cost are removed the value of each picture is reduced and people are more likely to waste it on something not worth a picture.
What is a digital picture? It's merely bits. On and off. 0 and 1. It's nothing but insignificant numbers.
LIES! A 35mm kodachrome slide from the 50s contains more data than all but those exorbitant digital cameras today requiring tethering to computers. 22 megapixels with a good lens. MF has I believe 70, 4x5 has 300. (you have to scan them well, ye old desktop scanner is not gonna pull it off. Think drumscans)
Digital is chugging along. Currently it's best for those email pictures.
But you see, that's exactly the point that I'm arguing against.
Originally Posted by tiberiustibz
Why would megapixels, real or putative, be the only reason why one medium matter over the other?
35mm film has 22 "megapixels." So what?
I sometimes get that song in my head, Video Killed the Radio Star, when I read these film/digi things.
That's very true, but in your essay you referenced that some people justify abandoning 35mm film in that digital is "better" in terms of resolution. I was merely seeking to prove these incorrect.