Over the past year or so I’ve been coming across other film lovers such as myself trying to defend the beauty in our medium, and on the internet it seems like film is thriving from all the #filmwins & #believeinfilm tweets I see all day. However, what you read on the internet is not always right.
In my portfolio development class we have an average of about 20-30 students and of those students only TWO of us are shooting film…or so I think. I didn’t ask but looking at their work you can tell they’ve either got an incredible professional grip on a medium format DSLR or they are just shooting in medium format film (and yes you can tell the difference between film and digital if you’ve been around photography for as long as I have or longer). But anyway, our professor was preparing us for our first round of edits next week and told us that we (assuming we are all digital) should have shot at least 1000 images, which should be narrowed down to 40 that he can edit down to about 5 images that may end up in our final portfolio. For digital users thats ONE useable shot in every 25 images just to be cut down even more. (In film terms, thats one shot a roll, or 1 shot every 10-20 dollars)
I did a little rough math and if I were to shoot 1000 exposures I would end up with almost FOUR HUNDRED useable shots, not 40. THAT right there my friends, is the difference between film and digital. Over the years through my own experience with digital cameras and growing up with them becoming commonplace, I’ve learned that film photographers are an entirely different breed of photographers. We’re forced because of our process to be the best photographers we can be at all times instead of shooting off pictures left and right until we find one we can use later. I’m not saying all film photographers are better photographers than digital because I’ve seen a LOT of great digital photogs out there especially now that I’m constantly looking at others professional portfolios on workbook.com… but I am saying that when you put a roll of film VS the same amount of digital frames side by side, pretty much always the film roll is going to have more useable frames in it, with little to no post-processing necessary. At least thats the case for all of the digital photographers I’ve encountered that are working professionally in my immediate area.
I just wish more digital photographers took the effort to learn the history of their craft and master it before they go and declare film photography dead, because I can tell you right here and now, its not. If anything they’re just making my work more of a commodity and raising my perceived market value out there as an artist.
Just some food for thought. :)