Yeah, since starting this thread and poking about here and there, I've come to the conclusion that it very well may be. In short, I think the "digital" (in general, not only photography) peak of our digital, online life is passing and the general public is getting tired of playing with computerized crap because they have to do so at work all day, many being sat on their ass in a chair and all but chained to the damn thing.However the point is (was) "is film photography gaining in popularity?" Well???
A marketing opportunity is passing before us.
If I was spending $10,000 on a print of "Clearing Winter Storm," it damn well would matter what process was used to get it from scene to wall. I don't give a crap if Ansel came back out of his grave, scanned, "photoshopped" and clicked the damn print button himself - it's just a freakin' inkjet copy of it. A thousand more could be made just like it, all ISO9000 certified to be exactly the same as only a machine could do.My choice of AA as the example was solely to illustrate the fact that, while the differences between the two imaging processes are concrete and real, those differences mean different things to different people. (snip)
In other words, it does matter to some "what tools get it from scene to wall."
Each wet printed print of that negative that Ansel ever made shows "the hand of the maker" in some way and is unique. It is a uniquely interpreted presentation of the scene in front of his camera at the time and his thoughts on how to show that scene.
And that thought might be core to a growing popularity of film.