Seattle, WA – It’s a mistake to think of film cameras as a thing of the past. While it is true that digital cameras, especially point-and-shoots, have become prevalent, this doesn’t mean that they’re better than film cameras. It’s better to think of the two mediums as two different instruments: both make music, but in different ways. Last week we discussed the advantages to be found in digital cameras; let us now look at film.

Seattle, WA – It’s a mistake to think of film cameras as a thing of the past. While it is true that digital cameras, especially point-and-shoots, have become prevalent, this doesn’t mean that they’re better than film cameras. It’s better to think of the two mediums as two different instruments: both make music, but in different ways. Last week we discussed the advantages to be found in digital cameras; let us now look at film.

 

Why do most landscape and fine art photography professionals still use film exclusively, as opposed to digital? The answers are numerous. No digital camera comes close to the resolution of a large-format camera. The Phase One, which costs well over $20,000 for simply the camera itself, is perhaps the best readily-available digital camera available, and it doesn’t even eclipse the resolution of a medium format film camera (easily had for a few hundred dollars), let alone large format. Film has a classic look, in the way the film reacts to light and produces color that simply can’t be replicated on digital. Film has what we call “grain,” which can be a positive thing, while the digital equivalent, called “noise,” usually has a negative association. The color black is surprisingly complicated and difficult to reproduce using digital photography equipment, while in film it’s as simple as exposing the correct amount of light to light-sensitive paper. Also, film cameras have a dramatically longer battery life, usually lasting months of heavy use.

 

More important than any one of these technical elements, however, is the fact that the art form of film pays homage to the original greek root for the word “art”- that is, it’s a craft, from shooting, to development, and printing. It not only requires a certain skill and knowledge, it also requires working with your hands. It’s challenging, and by extension more rewarding. It demands discipline from the photographer- one has to conserve due to the limited amount of film, shooting only what will make a good photograph, as well as having the skill sets and understanding of the craft to know what the picture will look like while taking it. Film, in essence, is an art form that forces one to become a better photographer.

 

-Two Photography

www.twophotography.com

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