Why I Went Back to Film Photography

Discussion in 'Photography' started by cfb, Nov 11, 2006.

  1. cfb

    cfb Guest

    Hey All,

    First, I want to say I am not bashing DSLRs. They are excellent for
    their purpose. But I feel like I should promote the reasons, other than
    technical, I think people should consider shooting with film. I speak
    from experience. I went to digital four years ago. I just went back to

    1) Shooting with film enhances creativity.
    If you want to read a book on this subject pick up "The Paradox of
    (http://www.amazon.com/Paradox-Choice-Why-More-Less/dp/0060005688) I
    think the dearth of images you can accumulate with digital photography
    paralyzes creativity. Creativity is not created by more choice, rather,
    by less.

    2) Film has a unique look.
    Sometimes perfect sharpness, large size, and perfect dynamic range
    are boring.

    3) Shooting with a film SLR can be cheaper.
    It can be, I did the math. Just because you take more pictures does
    not mean you have created more value.

    4) I only have one photo of my Great Grandmother.
    Do you understand what I mean by that?

    So that's it. Again, just my preference. Enjoy the day.

    cfb, Nov 11, 2006
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  2. cfb

    Steve B Guest

    Whatever winds yer film.
    Steve B, Nov 11, 2006
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  3. cfb

    Alfred T B Guest

    Creativity is not determined by the medium one chooses to use but by the
    apporach one takes to picture taking process. I can remember taking large
    numbers of pictures on film that were tedious and boring. It was only when I
    slowed down the picture taking process and took time to access the
    composition that my images improved. Auto-everything on modern film/digital
    cameras discourages the creative process.
    I had always assumed that this was only possible with film. Certainly, the
    quality of mediam and large format film eclipses anything that is possible
    with digital.TTFN
    Alfred T B, Nov 11, 2006
  4. cfb

    bmoag Guest

    Life is full of choices.
    This topic has been bashed to death by people who cannot understand why one
    would prefer film to digital or versa vice.
    The greatest value of the digital revolution for me is in the image
    processing and printing because finally there are tools to modify and
    control just about everything to get the image the way you want it to look.
    While it is true that only a small percentage of photo images are keepers
    there is no way to hone one's skill in any media or artistic endeavor unless
    one hones one skills on a sufficient volume of materials. The Mona Lisa was
    not the first painting made by Da Vinci and Hamlet was not the first play
    Shakespeare wrote.
    bmoag, Nov 11, 2006
  5. cfb

    Stujoe Guest

    There is something to what you say but I think neither is necessarily
    better or worse in the right hands and in front of the proper eye. And,
    I believe they can compliment each other. I know people who take both
    everywhere they go.
    Stujoe, Nov 11, 2006
  6. cfb

    Stujoe Guest

    Well said. I am just getting into photography, as a hobby, and am
    finding myself understanding how to take a photograph as opposed to a
    snapshot, if you know what I mean. I am not at a level of talent or
    equipment where I am taking breathtaking photographs but I have a
    different mindset now and that is pretty independant of whether I am
    using film or pixels.
    Stujoe, Nov 11, 2006
  7. cfb

    m Ransley Guest

    1 Film reduces ones creativity, you cant experiment and get immediate
    results to know what you have done
    2 ok
    3 What grade did you finish in school, 3rd?
    4 Thats to bad.
    m Ransley, Nov 11, 2006
  8. cfb

    cfb Guest

    Yes, but my point was that DSLRs hinder that creativity because it does
    not force one to focus when taking the picture because images are so
    cheap. "shoot now, think later."
    cfb, Nov 11, 2006
  9. cfb

    cfb Guest

    But you see, that is what I think the problem is with digital. Just
    because you have choice does not mean you are free.
    But they did not have computers or word processors either.
    cfb, Nov 11, 2006
  10. cfb

    cfb Guest

    Does anyone else see the irony here? :^)
    cfb, Nov 11, 2006
  11. Ridiculous --- you want to enhance your creativity by restricting
    yourself to less choice?? Never leave with a flash card of more
    than 16 or 32MB.

    You know, if you're *choosing* to force the restriction of using
    film (and I mean that in the sense that you're selling it: with
    film, you can not be as "shutter-happy" as with digital), you
    might as well choose to restrict yourself using *other* mechanisms.
    And some times it is not. Crappy cheap lenses have a very unique
    look as well. Pictures out of focus have a very unique look.
    Pixelated pictures due to low resolution have an *extremely unique*
    look. Why would that be a reason to prefer cheap cameras with low
    resolution and crappy cheap-plastic lenses, just because they have
    a unique look??

    (the above is not intended as an analogy/metaphor --- that is, I'm
    *not* implying that the film look is "bad"; I'm just saying that
    the fact that it is unique is no reason for me to consider forgetting
    about the other alternatives)
    It also can be more expensive --- what's your point?
    I doubt it. What I understand that you mean would be a strong
    defense of digital photography and a strong bashing of film

    You only have one photo of your GGM --- why don't you have
    several dozens or hundreds of them, showing you a lot more
    about that person? Showing you a lot more about the various
    facets and the various stages of her life? Why don't you
    have a picture that shows you in great detail, without the
    slightest sign of deterioration, her iris? (yes, her eyes
    in great detail).

    Carlos Moreno, Nov 11, 2006
  12. cfb

    Scott W Guest

    If you feel that this is somehow limiting your creativity why not
    simply use a 64MB memory card, that should limit you pretty well.

    Although I have to say that I find it hard to see how the cheap images
    is hindering your creativity. Do you stand out in a field and say to
    yourself "boy I would really like to take a creative photo but I
    don't see how I can since I know it will not cost me"?

    Scott W, Nov 11, 2006
  13. cfb

    smb Guest

    I spent many years with film before going to digital, and I wouldn't
    go back. Digital just has too many advantages, most of them creative.

    That's really only true if you have the mindset that digital = lots of
    pictures with no purpose. Digital is merely the medium, how you use
    it is far more important. Just because you *can* fit 800 jpegs on a
    memory card doesn't mean you *should.*

    True, film has a unique look. However, you can achieve far more
    unique looks with digital and the appropriate software. Digital is
    only boring if you create boring pictures!

    Actually, film has more dynamic range than digital. From that aspect,
    using digital can be more of a creative challenge than film.

    True, depending on the camera you choose and how much film you use.
    For someone truly dedicated to creativity in film photography,
    however, that also means shelling out a lot of dollars for darkroom
    equipment. Having a lab interpret your prints for you takes away
    half of the creative process. Given that, the "digital darkroom" can
    actually be less expensive.

    If you shoot in RAW mode, there is less temptation to use the machine
    gun approach. It also gives you a lot of room for interpretation of
    an image, which greatly enhances the creative potential.

    Me, I look at digital more or less as being a type of film with its
    own characteristics. Good camera technique and the need to see
    creatively are exactly the same with both media. At the end of the
    day, what does it matter if the image was created by light hitting
    photosensitive chemicals or by light hitting photosensitive diodes?

    It could mean that if something were to happen to that one photo, it
    would be lost forever. Perhaps you should scan it and save several
    digital copies! :)

    Very nice pictures!!!!
    smb, Nov 11, 2006
  14. For tards, yes. Stupid people used motor drives in much the same way.
    But I'm using basically the same techniques that I learned through
    decades of working with film - with very minor modifications.
    Randall Ainsworth, Nov 11, 2006
  15. cfb

    cfb Guest

    I did not say it limits MY creativity. I said it limits creativity.
    You missed the point. One will take more photographs with digital. That
    limits creativity.
    cfb, Nov 11, 2006
  16. cfb

    cfb Guest

    I have nothing against digital for what it is good for. Magazine ads and
    photojournalism, for instance.
    cfb, Nov 11, 2006
  17. cfb

    cfb Guest

    again, as I said to other posters, it is not limiting *MY* creativity. I
    said it limits creativity.

    Look at pbase and you'll see a million flat photographs. That is what I
    am talking about.

    But thank you for agreeing with me. I feel more people should be showing
    their uniqueness instead of going out and getting a 20D cause they heard
    it was the best. Then they just end up with photographs that look like
    everyone elses.
    Again, I have nothing against digital. But it is just all the "rave" now
    and a very wonderful medium, film, is being undersold.
    Again, this has to do with how digital is marketed. My point here is to
    show the viability and creativity that film offers that is being crushed
    by slick marketing campaigns.
    But is that my great grand mother? No. How many pictures should I take
    of her until i will be happy? 10? 100? 1000? It's funny how you
    abbreviated great grand mother to GGM. Just telling of the computer age
    and a perfect ending to why one should consider film.
    cfb, Nov 11, 2006
  18. cfb

    cfb Guest

    Explain how you have more creativity? If you are, shouldn't you have
    much better photographs? Why aren't you in national geographic? You see
    my point? You can do more things but you are NOT more creative.
    Yes. I agree. But what do most people do? They get a 1GB card.
    If that is true why don't we see more unique photographs? Go to pbase
    and you'll see what I mean.

    That is bullshit. Sorry. You are living on the knowledge of others and
    you will never be original.
    All I am saying is that digital does not enhance, indeed it stifles,
    See how the sell the fear to people?
    And when those burn?
    Yes, I know.
    cfb, Nov 11, 2006
  19. cfb

    Scott W Guest

    So help me out here, you take your camera out to take a creative
    photograph, you set out with the goal in mind. You are trying to
    develup your photographer eye. You pick a subject and you set out of
    compose the shot as best you can, and you just can't do it because you
    have a digital camera in your hands?

    I mean you are you saying to yourself at this point in time when you
    realize you can get that creative shot? "gee if I only had a film
    camera then I could be creative"?

    Scott W, Nov 11, 2006
  20. And you're missing one important point... Film photography, as it
    stands today (or in the last, say, 10 or 20 years) limits creativity
    and should not be seen as a form of art, since film and development
    is much easier and much cheaper than it was 150 years ago, when
    photography was created.

    Zoom lenses limit creativity, since they do the cropping for you;
    no effort, no need for creativity, you have all the possibilities
    right there in front of you --- what a shame, photography is no
    longer art, it's just a cheap form of technology due to the
    existence of zoom lenses.

    For that matter, lenses limit creativity --- people needed to be
    creative in the days of the pinhole cameras; you had to be very
    creative as to when to remove the cover to allow light to pass;
    you needed to do everything with just creativity and mental
    effort... What a shame that cameras with lenses and shutter and
    all that technological crap came and made photography just a
    creativity-less techno-hobby...

    Carlos Moreno, Nov 11, 2006
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