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Old 01-23-2017   #41
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This isn't really why people still shoot film but...

Digital still isn't archival, AT ALL. Nobody from this generation is going to have baby pictures in 20 years unless some miracle saves them off the drive of their current smart phone or cloud storage account. Lets be honest even photographers don't always follow best practices when it comes to DAM.

I have a 'no fun digitals' rule. I like digital and I shoot digital a ton for pro gigs. Weddings, portraits, editorial jobs, sure...my Nikon's get me there. But I won't (anymore) buy any RX1RIIs, Leica Ms, X100s, anything like that. I don't want to own a digital body that I'm tempted to shoot for personal work or when I travel. That keeps me dedicated to making better photos with my Rolleiflex and M4, on a medium that doesn't require electricity to be 'read' by human eyes. That said, i'm still a hybrid shooter. I don't have a darkroom at the moment and everything gets scanned. But since I still have the film original which can be wet printed at any time, or rescanned with better equipment, I feel it's the best of both worlds!

The only 'fun' digital that has me tempted is the GFX, but I'd still use that for work mostly. I doubt I want to take that thing even landscape shooting over my Pentax 6x7.
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Old 01-23-2017   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaveKodak View Post
This isn't really why people still shoot film but...

Digital still isn't archival, AT ALL. Nobody from this generation is going to have baby pictures in 20 years unless some miracle saves them off the drive of their current smart phone or cloud storage account. Lets be honest even photographers don't always follow best practices when it comes to DAM.
Let me know when the nuclear war is going to be so that I can get it on my Outlook calendar.

That digital is somehow not "archival" because it requires electricity is a casuistic argument that ignores what you have to do to make most film viewable. Film requires electricity to convert into any usable format, unless you like solar powered viewers and slide film. The event that magically destroys the cloud and all locally stored copies of digital files will also likely wipe out the power grid, running water, and everything else that would affect viewing things on screen or allow them to be printed with an optical enlarger. As to individual carelessness, it happens with analogue materials too. People pitch printed photos and lose/destroy/dispose of negatives all the time. And there is generational rot where I get, for example, my grandparents' blurry and poorly exposed travel slides, scan all of them, and then don't have any place to put 200 Bell & Howell slide cubes.

I have TIFFs from 22+ years ago that are still readable. But I am more worried about the following, all of which have been happening in that timeframe:

- That maintenance support for film cameras is no longer convenient, fast, or cheap
- That the last good enlargers were made several years ago now.
- That few really good film scanners are still being made at a price point that is even remotely affordable.
- That environmental concerns are driving up the cost of the silver process.
- That the creeping war on incandescent lighting will eliminate the halogen bulbs needed for multicontrast printing.

The only thing that is actually safe is dark-stored, printed copies. That's the miracle that saves things, and you can get that from any source, digital or film.

Dante
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Old 01-23-2017   #43
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What is important is to print, digital or wet, file or negative, but print.
one print each ten shots or one print each hundred shots depending on your shooting style but print, small or large, print! Select and print
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Old 01-23-2017   #44
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For every shoebox full of family photos discovered in an old attic or dresser drawer, thousands of shoeboxes of family photos have been thrown in the trash by family members clearing out a home after the owners death. Many more thousands destroyed by floods, hurricanes, fires and other natural disasters.

Physical prints are no more archival than digital files unless they are carefully curated and protected. Put prints in a shoebox or hard disk in a forgotten drawer, and it is only luck that either survive.
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Old 01-23-2017   #45
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I'm a big fan of, at the very least, making books of my photos... and I do it every single month. I have my digital files backed up and I have the paper version. Not very hard if you are not lazy and value what you create.
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Old 01-23-2017   #46
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And with everyone living in apartments and condos, there won't be any attics to store all those shoe boxes of fond and fading memories.
Yes, you are right, this is a problem! Really is my actual problem therefore I stay first select, than select and than select again

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Old 01-23-2017   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JP Owens View Post
...

Physical prints are no more archival than digital files unless they are carefully curated and protected. Put prints in a shoebox or hard disk in a forgotten drawer, and it is only luck that either survive.
Quite agree with this. The only photographs that will survive are the ones curated/archived by museums/galleries, be they prints or negatives or backlit projections or digital files or whatever. The rest will slowly weather away from neglect. Or, worse, it will be summarily dispatched to the closest bin by surviving relatives.
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Old 01-23-2017   #48
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For every shoebox full of family photos discovered in an old attic or dresser drawer, thousands of shoeboxes of family photos have been thrown in the trash by family members clearing out a home after the owners death.......
Youíre right, and itís too bad folks do this. When my parents passed away several years back, I made sure to grab all of the old family photos. Some of these pics I had seen when I was a kid, but the majority were all new to me and my sister. What a treasure chest of photos! We found pics going back to 1915 (4X5 glass plate negatives), and countless pics of my folks when they were growing up in the 1930ís. Iíve scanned most of them and put them on my website.

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Old 01-23-2017   #49
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Next up was San Jacinto. We took a tram car up the mountainside with 50 people.

San Jacinto Tram Ride - that is a really fun ride, especially when it's 80-85F in the valley and you can cross country ski up top. Did that ride back when there were only film cameras.

Love to see some pics from that ride.
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Old 01-23-2017   #50
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Let me know when the nuclear war is going to be so that I can get it on my Outlook calendar.

That digital is somehow not "archival" because it requires electricity is a casuistic argument that ignores what you have to do to make most film viewable. Film requires electricity to convert into any usable format, unless you like solar powered viewers and slide film. The event that magically destroys the cloud and all locally stored copies of digital files will also likely wipe out the power grid, running water, and everything else that would affect viewing things on screen or allow them to be printed with an optical enlarger. As to individual carelessness, it happens with analogue materials too. People pitch printed photos and lose/destroy/dispose of negatives all the time. And there is generational rot where I get, for example, my grandparents' blurry and poorly exposed travel slides, scan all of them, and then don't have any place to put 200 Bell & Howell slide cubes.

I have TIFFs from 22+ years ago that are still readable. But I am more worried about the following, all of which have been happening in that timeframe:

- That maintenance support for film cameras is no longer convenient, fast, or cheap
- That the last good enlargers were made several years ago now.
- That few really good film scanners are still being made at a price point that is even remotely affordable.
- That environmental concerns are driving up the cost of the silver process.
- That the creeping war on incandescent lighting will eliminate the halogen bulbs needed for multicontrast printing.

The only thing that is actually safe is dark-stored, printed copies. That's the miracle that saves things, and you can get that from any source, digital or film.

Dante
-Repairing my Leica or my Rolleiflex is generally only a few hundred dollars. If I get 3 more decades that's more than enough for me.

-The many enlargers we have now still work, and if maintained will keep working. Only the ultra high-end ones are overly complicated. Larger formats don't need enlargers.

-My Primefilm XA was less than $500 dollars new and delivers quality at basically the same level of the Coolscans which cost much more than that when new. My Primfilm PF120 was $1300 dollars and has similar performance to a CS 9000. So there are two scanners that are as good as old high end Nikon scanners and much cheaper new. Hasselblad still sells their X line, Phase One just introduced a new high end scanning solution. Even Pentax makes their multi-format copy system, they just upgraded it to 4x5. The Epsons aren't THAT expensive. My 10 year old V700 still works without any hickups. Frankly that even surprises me!

-Can't comment on environmental factors as don't know enough about it. Ilford and Kodak haven't voiced any concerns...

-If Kodak can resurrect Super 8 with a brand new motion picture camera we can find a factory in China to make a few specialty light bulbs. It can't be THAT hard. You can still find working flash bulbs on ebay right now. If in 10 years you can still buy old stock of an enlarger bulb we'll be ok.

I would say that given the overall interest in B&W photography it won't die just like painting or sculpting haven't died. Things will be more expensive yes, but if there is a market, and there is, select brands will support it. I still shoot Super 8 (for paying clients no less), 20+ years after the format lost it's relevance, with cameras older than that. All my cameras can still be repaired by select technicians.

The power grid isn't likely going anywhere, but .cr2s might. Your hard drives will certainly fail. If you find a box full of 20 year old hard drives, even if you find a machine to run them, the data will likely be corrected. Maybe a similar negative I find won't be in the best shape, but I can still look at it and get some information off it. It's not a total loss. Plus as I've been saying, there likely will be some way to print or scan that image. Corrupted data or failed drives mean the images are just gone. Only printing leads to archival digital images. But having a print is not as good as having the original when it comes to making further reproductions.
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Old 01-23-2017   #51
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Corrupted data or failed drives mean the images are just gone. Only printing leads to archival digital images. But having a print is not as good as having the original when it comes to making further reproductions.
But that is why we have back-ups. And each time I update drives, I keep bringing the files to the next drive. Storage keeps getting bigger and I keep moving it every year or two. It takes work, but so does analog. Nothing is fool proof. You don't have back-ups of your negatives. You could lose them to a flood, fire, theft, negligence etc. too.
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Old 01-23-2017   #52
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But that is why we have back-ups. And each time I update drives, I keep bringing the files to the next drive. Storage keeps getting bigger and I keep moving it every year or two. It takes work, but so does analog. Nothing is fool proof. You don't have back-ups of your negatives. You could lose them to a flood, fire, theft, negligence etc. too.
Ah ha ha! But the thing is I do have a back up for my negative, and it's my 5000ppi TIFF.

If the argument is that you could lose one or the other, or that with best practices you should be ok...best practices then must include both physical and digital versions. I personally am careful with both, but I've lost negatives due to some problems it's true. But I've lost far more digital images over the years due to user error or hardware failure.
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Old 01-23-2017   #53
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I started shooting film at 13 where i started shooting a load of Legacy pro 100 (rebadged Acros) simply because I god given a film camera and it actually preformed better than my DLSR at the time (AF and AE was far better - hadnt learned manual yet)

After this it took off from there and I found myself inheriting my canon 7 where I shot it nonstop, it was fun. I loved making my images as apposed to just importing them onto a computer, It also helped me learn manual as I was doing everything myself.

Even now - when i work professionally I use digital but always have a 35mm SLR on me in case and when i have had to use it the clients tend to like the film images better even on cheap drugstore film.
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Old 01-23-2017   #54
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Ah ha ha! But the thing is I do have a back up for my negative, and it's my 5000ppi TIFF.

If the argument is that you could lose one or the other, or that with best practices you should be ok...best practices then must include both physical and digital versions. I personally am careful with both, but I've lost negatives due to some problems it's true. But I've lost far more digital images over the years due to user error or hardware failure.
Good point. But it wasn't THAT funny.
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Old 01-23-2017   #55
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Good point. But it wasn't THAT funny.
I was more trying to channel the image of an old british man yelling "I have you now!!!"
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Old 01-23-2017   #56
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One thing I have noticed is an uptick in bid prices on certain film cameras, in particular the Canon AE-1. Then I saw a video of someone singing the praises of the AE-1 as the film camera to own, which explains the renewed interest in a model that wasn't as popular as the AE-1 Program.

My local lab has begun better stocking of their film shelves, but still haven't gotten in any 120, so there might not be as much interest around here for medium format.

With my style of shooting, it's not often I even run into another photographer, much less someone dragging around film equipment. I gave up on the camera club because they all switched to digital.

Not that I haven't dipped my toes into the waters of the medium, but my issue with digital is the cost in equipment. Not only do you need the camera and lenses, but a good computer with enough hard drive and memory space to be able to store and work on images, with the necessary software. Then online storage adds to the cost of keeping your images, and being able to display them for others to see. Include in this the monthly bill for online access, and it mounts up pretty fast.

And yes, it all has an environmental footprint, whether in the manufacturing processes for the cameras, lenses, and memory cards, or all the electricity required to keep the server farms up and running, along with charging camera batteries, and post-processing images. It all adds up to a large expenditure for someone on a budget.

But I think I keep shooting film because it's what I know best. It also gives me great satisfaction when I get the scans back from a roll where I guessed the exposures myself, and most of them are spot on. I still can't get my Nikon P7700 to perform that bit of magic.

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Old 01-23-2017   #57
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I've written it before, and I'll write it again, one of the attractions of film is that it possesses an authenticity that doesn't exist in digital.

I have some Kodachrome slides taken in Japan in 1948. What's neat is that when I hold those slides, I'm holding the same film that actually was shot in Japan, in 1948. The slides actually were there. That's a direct connection to the time and location one can never really have with a print from digital or viewing a photo online.

To most people who don't really care a whole lot about photography or history, that doesn't mean much, and it's not very interesting. But to me there is something really amazing about holding negatives or slides that you know had actually been in the hands of the photographer, and had actually been to some important or beautiful location. When I look at my own travel slides, it's something that brings those places close again. When I handle negatives or slides from somebody else, maybe somebody long dead even, it provides a connection that just can't exist with digital.
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Old 01-23-2017   #58
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I've written it before, and I'll write it again, one of the attractions of film is that it possesses an authenticity that doesn't exist in digital.

I have some Kodachrome slides taken in Japan in 1948. What's neat is that when I hold those slides, I'm holding the same film that actually was shot in Japan, in 1948. The slides actually were there. That's a direct connection to the time and location one can never really have with a print from digital or viewing a photo online.

To most people who don't really care a whole lot about photography or history, that doesn't mean much, and it's not very interesting. But to me there is something really amazing about holding negatives or slides that you know had actually been in the hands of the photographer, and had actually been to some important or beautiful location. When I look at my own travel slides, it's something that brings those places close again. When I handle negatives or slides from somebody else, maybe somebody long dead even, it provides a connection that just can't exist with digital.
This post has my


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Old 01-24-2017   #59
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A colorful Olympus Trip 35 from TripMan caught my daughter's eye.
The true test will be if a pedestrian silver and black one will suffice...

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Old 01-24-2017   #60
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I've written it before, and I'll write it again, one of the attractions of film is that it possesses an authenticity that doesn't exist in digital.
I'm glad museums and galleries don't feel the same way.
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Old 01-24-2017   #61
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I usually shoot by myself, away from the sort of situations which attract crowds of photographers. But the photographers I DO see, aren't using film. I haven't seen a "regular" film camera in years besides my own. I do run across the occasional hipster shooting a Polaroid, but that's about it.
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Old 01-24-2017   #62
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I'd say a few years ago it was a lot more (a lot more). I was going to say it appears to be on a decline here. Your experience is different though.


I thought the only way to confirm this was to get anecdotal evidence from a film developer. I went to LTI light side on 30th street tonight. He said that demand is higher than he's seen in awhile. That's just from one guy so take it with a grain of salt. But these are the folks who might know the best.

On a more general note about film's "authenticity" over digital etc. I feel a lot of this is just romanticizing film. You can romanticize any anachronism but that doesn't make it "better". Romance has its place though and I suspect lots of kids get into film precisely because of this (it was a driver for me for sure).


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Old 01-24-2017   #63
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I'm glad museums and galleries don't feel the same way.
Judging by the preponderance of film photography in art galleries, many of them do.

I live in Paris, where film cameras on the street are an everyday sight. However, it has always been like that since I moved here in 2008.

I donít see as many medium-format cameras as you might expect from the web. I do notice lots of Leicas, various Nikon FMs, Contax G systems, and Hexar RFs. The fact that these are the cameras Iíve owned or wanted to own has nothing to do with this!
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Old 01-24-2017   #64
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I'm glad museums and galleries don't feel the same way.
If the photographer doesn't care about the authenticity of their own work, why should the museum? Museums generally don't dictate photographer's processes or concepts.

If you don't care about authenticity, that's fine too. Nobody said you had to put any value on it. Many don't. I enjoy that connection with people and places, but by no means do I think a work is a failure or not valid without it.

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On a more general note about film's "authenticity" over digital etc. I feel a lot of this is just romanticizing film. You can romanticize any anachronism but that doesn't make it "better". Romance has its place though and I suspect lots of kids get into film precisely because of this (it was a driver for me for sure).
You're mistaking somebody believing film to be "real photography" with the rather objective fact that film as a medium has to have been present at the location it was shot at the time it was shot, and thus there is a very real connection between the photographer, medium, and viewer, which simply isn't present in digital.

Sure, you could touch the memory card a famous photograph was recorded on, but somehow that doesn't seem as interesting as looking at an actual negative or slide which has a famous image recorded on it. That the image doesn't actually exist as an image on the card kind of ruins the effect.
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Old 01-24-2017   #65
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Shoot your P7700 in manual. Light is light. If you can guess the EV for film, you can guess the EV for digital as well.
If I could see the bleeping screen I would.

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Old 01-24-2017   #66
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I see mroe and more people, stores offering decent service in several countries over the last few years. Local photography forums are full of young people looking for tanks and enlargers, I helped a few develop a roll. I can get used to this!
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Old 01-24-2017   #67
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I see film photographers regularly here in New York City. I could imagine in smaller cities that it can be difficult to still shoot in film. It's getting harder to process color film, but I think film will be around for a while. I use a film camera almost daily, but my young children still ask me, "Can I see the picture?" I don't mind waiting and I like being surprised when I see my film developed.
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Old 01-24-2017   #68
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With "alternative facts" becoming the reality, more and more people in the documentary/journalistic business might steer away from the easy to manipulate digital recording or imaging technology, at least for their personal objects.
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Old 01-24-2017   #69
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I thought the only way to confirm this was to get anecdotal evidence from a film developer. I went to LTI light side on 30th street tonight. He said that demand is higher than he's seen in awhile. That's just from one guy so take it with a grain of salt. But these are the folks who might know the best.

On a more general note about film's "authenticity" over digital etc. I feel a lot of this is just romanticizing film. You can romanticize any anachronism but that doesn't make it "better". Romance has its place though and I suspect lots of kids get into film precisely because of this (it was a driver for me for sure).


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Asking a lab might not be a good idea. My lab also sees more film coming in. But it is just because its range is getting larger with other labs closing and he picking up trade from further away.
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Old 01-25-2017   #70
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you can back-up and duplicate digital files all you like, but if your computer's motherboard doesn't have ECC RAM modules you may still be in for an unpleasant surprise when you try to recover those images!

Most consumer 'puters don't use ECC RAM. I put my trust in well-conserved negatives...
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Old 01-25-2017   #71
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Originally Posted by tunalegs View Post
...You're mistaking somebody believing film to be "real photography" with the rather objective fact that film as a medium has to have been present at the location it was shot at the time it was shot, and thus there is a very real connection between the photographer, medium, and viewer, which simply isn't present in digital ...
Hi,

I am having problems understanding this, why doesn't it apply to digital?

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Old 01-25-2017   #72
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What a satisfyingly refreshing thread this is...!!
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Old 01-25-2017   #73
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I don't see more film cameras in the streets here in my town.
But:
1. My preferred local professional lab told me that five years ago 10% of their business was film, and 90% was digital.
Now it is 40 % film, and only 60% digital.
2. The biggest local photo shop (brick and mortar store) has hired a new employee with lots of film knowledge to serve the film customers better.

The local photo business here is realizing a film revival. More film photography workshops are offerd, too. And a public darkroom is also getting more use.

Last edited by Skiff : 01-25-2017 at 06:12. Reason: typo
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Old 01-25-2017   #74
JChrome
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Originally Posted by tunalegs View Post
If the photographer doesn't care about the authenticity of their own work, why should the museum? Museums generally don't dictate photographer's processes or concepts.

If you don't care about authenticity, that's fine too. Nobody said you had to put any value on it. Many don't. I enjoy that connection with people and places, but by no means do I think a work is a failure or not valid without it.



You're mistaking somebody believing film to be "real photography" with the rather objective fact that film as a medium has to have been present at the location it was shot at the time it was shot, and thus there is a very real connection between the photographer, medium, and viewer, which simply isn't present in digital.

Sure, you could touch the memory card a famous photograph was recorded on, but somehow that doesn't seem as interesting as looking at an actual negative or slide which has a famous image recorded on it. That the image doesn't actually exist as an image on the card kind of ruins the effect.


Of note, I only shoot film. That's just an aside.

I too would like to know how a digital camera can take a photo without being there.

In regards to the point about "touching negatives"... sounds like you're proving my point about romance... Maybe you've personally handled HCB's negatives to get the joy of looking through them but a simple man like me will never get that chance. I'm fine with seeing his images in books, in galleries and (less so) on the web.

If this is why you shoot film then that's fine. I'm happy you get to look at negatives and enjoy them.


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Old 01-25-2017   #75
MIkhail
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Originally Posted by jsrockit View Post
I'm a big fan of, at the very least, making books of my photos... and I do it every single month.

Wow, that's dedication... I have maybe 15 pictures a year that I consider worthy a book :-)
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Old 01-25-2017   #76
MIkhail
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Originally Posted by SaveKodak View Post
Digital still isn't archival, AT ALL. Nobody from this generation is going to have baby pictures in 20 years unless some miracle saves them off the drive of their current smart phone or cloud storage account. .


Surely you can't be serious(c).
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Old 01-25-2017   #77
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I don't understand the film/objectivity thing. Why does it matter if it was there? The whole point is to create an image to communicate something to someone, who, presumably, wasn't there. Right? So a piece of film was on the moon. The important thing is the image of the Earth. A satellite takes a picture of your backyard on film... What was where?

What is "important"? and to who? Negatives can be easily manipulated and have been since the beginning of film use.
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Old 01-25-2017   #78
Nyc Dito
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I know 3 youths who started in film because they loved the look and experience. Each one quit film within 6 months.

I can say that i have seen more film shooters around here than before. Usually an older Canon or Nikon SLR... or something Lomo'ish.
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Old 01-25-2017   #79
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Originally Posted by MIkhail View Post
Surely you can't be serious(c).
If you have a hard drive that will:

1. Never suffer mechanical failure.
2. Never corrupt data.
And,
3. Be easily readable by readily available equipment in perpetuity.

Then trust me, the world needs this technology! If there is something like this let me know what it is. Keep in mind criteria # 3. I'm having trouble finding even a disc drive in most computers these days.

I'll make it a little easier! The storage medium only has to last as long as a properly stored, selenium toned b&w negative. So, that's basically only a few centuries.

So, with that in mind, what commercially available digital storage medium will hold my .DNGs perfectly in tact and be readable in ohhh lets sayyy the year 2217? Because were I to simply properly store the roll of Ilford HP5 I developed yesterday it will still be in printable shape by then.

(Yes this is obviously not considering natural or other disasters which would wipe out everything, this is more theoretical).
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Old 01-25-2017   #80
tunalegs
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Originally Posted by JChrome View Post
Of note, I only shoot film. That's just an aside.

I too would like to know how a digital camera can take a photo without being there.
Is the digital camera the photograph?

Film itself is an artifact, a product of the time, place, process. When you have an old slide in your hand, that slide was there, then. It doesn't matter if the photographer was famous or not, you've got your hands on something that was actually touched by the photographer, that was actually there when the photo on it was taken.

This is a large part of why a painting is more valuable than a print or a forgery. Why an original sculpture is more important than a paperweight in its likeness.

Quote:
Originally Posted by benlees View Post
I don't understand the film/objectivity thing. Why does it matter if it was there? The whole point is to create an image to communicate something to someone, who, presumably, wasn't there. Right? So a piece of film was on the moon. The important thing is the image of the Earth. A satellite takes a picture of your backyard on film... What was where?

What is "important"? and to who? Negatives can be easily manipulated and have been since the beginning of film use.
If it's not important to you it's not important to you. Asking why it is important is like asking why Degas or Picasso is important. If you don't care, you don't care. If you do care, then you know why.

If you don't have any value for authenticity then don't sweat it. Authenticity is not a crucial requirement for creating valid art.
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