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#33497 - 03/20/15 11:48 AM Digital and/or (vs versus) Film Photography
JM Hanes Offline

Registered: 09/03/09
This is intended to be an extension of a conversation under the Most Durable Medium? post, which seemed to warrant a Photography thread of its own. I'd like to respond to a number of those comments, but I thought it would be worth creating a starter thread to do that here, before everyone has already said their piece on the subject in the Lounge -- where other interested folks are unlikely to find them.

Ironically, it seems that it's Film Photography, not Digital Photography, which has to justify its existence these days. Amateurs have swarmed to digital; that jury is already out. I'd wager there are a very scant number of commercial photographers who work in film today, although they may not have given it up on a personal basis. As suggested by joemikeb, local sources for film processing, cameras, processing equipment, or supplies are drying up. Film photographers might appreciate some leads (or a support group) in that regard.

Perhaps the one place film might hold its own is in the area of printmaking, especially in black & white imaging? The physical characteristic of film and the chemistry of development and papers unique to that process, are categorically, even if sometimes subtly, different from digital output. Is the concept of an "original and/or a "limited edition" more meaningful in film? I know that there are digital View Camera "backs" (also incredibly expensive), but I don't know how they compare to the original dedicated View Cameras in film. I came to photography from the digital side, so I'd be particularly interested in what film buffs have to say about this.

The potential combinations of inks, printers and substrates for digital printing are almost endless and accessible, now, of course, (which is also where astonishingly high resolution originals really strut their stuff). And yet digital printmaking (film too?) receives proportionately less attention in today's internet connected universe all the time. As an unfortunate consequence of that, the demands of computer based, low resolution, intangible, rectangular display have become a serious inhibitor of innovation, IMO. I have additional plaints on that score, but I hope this is enough to see where such a discussion might lead -- or at least supply a live topic in the Audio, Video, Photography Forum.


#33501 - 03/20/15 12:46 PM Re: Digital and/or (vs versus) Film Photography [Re: JM Hanes]
joemikeb Online

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Good call Jim, but since this is not a troubleshooting issue, I am going to ask the moderator of this particular forum to move this discussion to The Lounge.

That said, your comment
Originally Posted By: JM Hanes
As an unfortunate consequence of that, the demands of computer based, low resolution, intangible, rectangular display have become a serious inhibitor of innovation, IMO. I have additional plaints on that score

brings up a pertinent point. I have a couple of decent digital cameras, one a very compact consumer model and the other a mirrorless SLR and an iPhone 6. It is the iPhone 6 that is always in my pocket and I seldom have the SLR with me unless I am on a dedicated photographic mission. As a result I take probably 50 to 100 pictures with the iPhone for every one I take with the SLR. I recently attended a talk with a professional photographer who was discussing her commissioned, curated, exhibit at a museum of modern art and even she admitted that she sometimes takes pictures with her iPhone for the very same reason. There is no question the quality of images taken with either of my dedicated cameras are superior to those take with the iPhone, but I do get some pretty good images with it and a pretty good image beats no image at all hands down.

Every new device has brought improvements in existing technologies. Every new image processing app and each update of those apps are bringing improvements. They have a very very long way to go to compete with a top of the line DSLR but I question your assertion that has been a serious inhibitor of innovation. I am more of the opinion we are just beginning to dip our feet into entirely new technologies and it will be exciting to see what the future will bring. A phone camera that is competitive with today's DSLRs? Could be sooner rather than later?
joemikeb • moderator

#33503 - 03/20/15 07:32 PM Re: Digital and/or (vs versus) Film Photography [Re: joemikeb]
JM Hanes Offline

Registered: 09/03/09
I'm happy to carry on wherever you think best; I just felt a little sorry for the poor Photo forum which has been a blank slate for months. I only intended to drop in for a visit this time around, but maybe I can come up with a bona fide camera troubleshooting query. grin


Moderator:  cyn, dianne