Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Siren Song

About 10 years ago, a young idealist I know intimately dogged digital photography within an inch of it’s life. She swore digital would never be better than and definitely would never replace film. Film was just better by such a large degree, it was unfathomable. Ahh, the innocence of youth.

Flash forward to 2004 and by this time, digital photography has grown by leaps and bounds that that photographer. . .ok I never had thought possible. In December of 2006 I purchased my first Digital SLR a Canon 30D. I was in LOVE! It cost me more than any of my film cameras, heck more than all of them put together (I will admit, I saved money by purchasing old reliables from fellow photogs with the desire to upgrade).

But the cost was not so bothersome to me because there was another cost that was entirely obliterated by the advent of digital. The costly processing of film and having to have every photo printed. And then came the weeding out of the “bad” ones. So my 3 or 4 Canon SLRs got packed away in a camera bag along with loads of unused film only to see the light of day every once in a while.

One of those times was when my husband and I planned a trip to Piedmont Park for him to try his hand at photography a bit more than he was used to. I brought out one of my old faithfuls and the accompanying rolls of film in order to not feel empty handed. It was torture not seeing the fruits of my labors right away and whether or not I got the shot. Sadly, it was not torture enough because they are still lying around undeveloped. My curiosity was evidently not that great. . .

. . .or rather, the real culprit is my frugality and the fact that there are no decent local film labs in my area that could lovingly develop my film and scan it to CD for me so that I may view my film creations in the same ease that I do my digital work. Either that or the ones I find have the ability to bleed me dry in the area of my wallet. {{inward groan}}

Early this summer, before my Canon 30D was sadly demoted by the acquisition of a 50D, I shot a couple that you saw before on this blog here. As I shot with my trusty 30D, I loaded one roll of film for Spencer to shoot at his leisure. Knowing my tendency towards procrastination, I got the film developed and scanned to CD right away. . .at Wal-Mart. :( I even got a set of prints for kicks and giggles.

I was thoroughly surprised by the results. They were creamy and rich in a way digital is not always. Sadly, the following images do not do the prints justice.

Frazier Blog Film 22 Frazier Blog Film 07 Frazier Blog Film 11 Frazier Blog Film 17The above images were completely untouched by Photoshop. Straight out of the camera.

For those who do not follow closely the buzz in the photography industry, the reason this post came to be is because there has been a lot of said buzz in the photography world about film. Now, by no means do I plan on going back to film as my sole media as do the amazingly talented Jose Villa (please check out his phenomenal work which is a source of inspiration to me) and several others that I have come across (Joseph Canlas is another good one to check out that is 100% Film as his blog proudly bosts) but there are certain things about film that I miss.

One day, some time ago, I came across an order a bride had placed with me for prints from her wedding that she never retrieved (lesson learned there that we won’t get into right now) and I marveled at several facts.

1. I have grown by leaps and bounds in the past 5+ years.

2. I was amazed at the memory of the confidence I used to have shooting weddings and such. I looked over the images and recalled how it used to be when I would shoot roll after roll of film, trusting myself and my abilities enough without the possibility of seeing how I truly did until anywhere from a few days to weeks after the actual event. {{sigh}} Those were the days.

As I typed this, I looked over at my dear 50D and picked it up and changed the review time of an image after shot from 2 seconds to None. I still have the ability to push the play button, of course, but I am going to endeavor to resist unless necessary.

As wistful as this post may sound, I do not plan on giving digital the heave ho by any means. Too blasted convenient. However, relegated to the post of “knick knack” is my first ever SLR (single lens reflex) that I bought from a pawn shop for $100 of hard earned money. My dear Pentax K1000. Also there resides my overpriced TLR (twin lens reflex). An $80 E-bay find. My Yashica A.

As I mentioned on Twitter just the other night, I have 35mm and 120mm film lying around the house and an itch that needs scratching. We shall see how this turns out and I will be sure to keep you updated.

P.S. “This is what part of the alphabet would look like if Q and R were removed.” Mitch Hedburg

P.S. For real. Check out this blog of an old friend of mine who has also succumbed to the siren song of film.

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1 comment:

  1. There is a big movement here for photographers to move back to film cameras. Almost as if they need to prove that they really can take a good picture. I might take your lead and turn off the auto review on my camera and trust my instincts to see where they lead.