This seems to be a topic that keeps coming to the fore…my niece just completed a college Photography course that required film only. She talked about the disposable nature of digital images, while I remarked that film intimidated me (the fear of failing is costly and never so evident with a roll that is either under exposed or over exposed…no matter how well you compose a shot). We both remarked that knowing how to do both well, can only make you a better photographer.
But what about going back and forth…what changes do you note?
My niece admits film is ultimately precocious to her…a roll a mini-series…the counter begins to rule your life (12 shots left, 6 shots left…make THIS one shot count)…so she finds she is much more purposeful in her shooting when she has her film camera.
She also spoke about “the waiting” which is brutal…”did I get it?” becomes very very real. The immediate “proofing” of the LCD screen or direct upload make digital almost a mandatory for commodity photography…while purposeful composition makes film a spectacular choice for artistic expression. But neither are ultimately a correct or a wrong choice…
Ken Rockwell has a terrific article on Film vs. Digital. check it out here
Rockwell basically outlines the differences…explains his preference while never casting aspersion on the other choice. He defines the issue simply…it is a personal choice.
Paul Morse an LA Times based sports photographer, wrote in 2000 this article in which he discussed where he shot the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Team Trials for the Sydney Olympics in film instead of digital. He had moved almost completely to the digital format. For proper context, in 2000, burst rates were not the astonishing 10FPS (frames per second) that we see in today’s newest cameras, nor were the pixel rates very large; in 2000 the state of art digital cameras were carrying a max of 2-3 mega-pixels… we are seeing 10-23 mega-pixels in the professional quality SLRs releases of 2007. This context aside, Morse speaks to the obvious lag rate of digital motors supping up before responding to the human command to capture. For the ever moving world of sports where the thrill of victory… and the agony of defeat… the human drama of athletic competition are separated by a mere nano-seconds…the immediate response of a film camera could serve well. How often have you been an event…you see the moment and click when you think it is right…only to have missed the moment?
Our own Jenfera has a 35mm Canon Rebel…and a spare roll of 24 film…
It was weird going 35mm again. Waiting to find out if the picture came out okay was torture! But it is good to know that this is something I can do if I want to use my good lenses for something special. I didn’t take any action shots so I can’t comment on noticing the quicker response. I did notice that my little digital actually can take closer macros! I only have a 35-80 and a 75-300 for the 35mm and I don’t have any macro filters or anything.
She has kindly shared some great shots with us…
As Jen put it…you can go back.
I know from my experience I am free of fear with my digital camera so am more willing to experiment.
What do you all think?