I suppose it’s time I add to my blog. Don’t expect anything fancy, but once in awhile, I’ll add comments when something that interests me comes to mind.
I’m often asked why I still shoot film. Nostalgia is part of it. I grew up with film cameras and using one is as natural as breathing. Plus I like the feel of using one of these old mechanical devices. As the late-lamented Modern Photography magazine put it back in the 1970’s when talking about the Canon F-1, “this camera harkens back to an era when cameras were built like fine, scientific instruments.” I’ll take it a step father and say all quality, classic film cameras harken back to that era. There’s no comparing the build quality of my film Leica MP to my digital Olympus OM-D.
But there’s something else besides the feel of a camera, I just like the look of film, especially B&W. While I’ve successfully taken a color digital pic and converted it to B&W (with impressive results too), there’s still something about the look of Kodak Tri-X, or Ilford FP4, or Efke 25 that draws me to film. Grain, tonal range, and the fact that I process it myself in my darkroom (the laundry room) are all part of it. Plus having the physical negative means that if my hard drive crashes, I still have an image. If you haven’t backed up your digital images, if your hard drive crashes, you’ve lost everything.
But I’m not stuck in the past either. I have three digital cameras and take a hell of a lot more digital pics than film pics. Digital has it’s place, for me color, and there’s no arguing it’s speed and convenience. There’s no arguing quality either, a properly “processed” DNG is very impressive.
I’ll continue to use both film and digital. They both have their place. I suppose, now, it’s choosing the camera that gives me the result I’m looking for. It may be my old Polaroid SX-70 and a few packs of Impossible Film, my Olympus OM-D for model photography, or my Leica MP, and a roll of Tri-X, for street photography. Choice is good, and it’s nice to live in a time where I have two excellent mediums, film and digital, to choose from.
And that’s today’s thought.