We found this neat article by Brian Auer and thought we'd share it with our dear Lomographers! We're all analogue photographers here, but what kind are you? New Age Film Convert, Old School Film Extremist, or somewhere in between? Tell us, we'd love to know! :-)
Categorizing Today’s Film Photographers
by Brian Auer
We live in an exciting time when it comes to photography. Digital revolutionized the market and we’ve had a huge boom of new photographers as a result. Film has also made leaps and bounds in recent history due to a revitalized interest in photography.
I got to thinking about the different types of film photographers out there today, and I think I can narrow them down to seven main categories. Not that I’m trying to draw lines and boundaries, but take this for what it is: my own observations and opinions. So here are the categories and some tips for spotting these creatures in the wild…
Old School Film Extremist
Pre-digital film shooters that never gave up on film. In fact, they seemingly resent digital photography and refuse to touch the stuff. You can spot them by their comments about digital cameras killing photography, flooding the market with amateurs, reducing the value of a good photo, etc. If you see their comments on a blog or forum, you’ll instantly be reminded of Ebenezer Scrooge (bah humbug!). To avoid provoking the old school extremist, refrain from using the word “digital” or speaking of new cameras.
Old School Film Hater
Pre-digital film shooters that completely gave up on film. These folks are nearly opposite from the old school film extremist and they have a deep hatred for film photography. You can pick them out in a crowd by identifying comments like “I’ll never go back”, “film was such a waste of time and money”, or “I’m an old geezer, but digital is the only way to go!” These photographers usually don’t have the “bah humbug” sense about them, but they might stand on a very high pedestal… so high, in fact, that they won’t hear any good arguments for returning to film for any reason. Shout all you want, but they probably won’t hear you.
Old School Film Revert
Pre-digital film shooters that shot film, then digital, then film again. This is a large (and growing) category of film photographers, so there’s a good chance that some of them never stopped shooting film during the digital craze. Others packed away or sold their film cameras, only to return to it some years later. Most of these creatures continue to shoot digital, but a few renegades cast off completely from the world of digital after a while. Of all the old schoolers, this breed is the most open-minded. They’re also a major source of education and inspiration since they haven’t shut out the film photography communities. If you find an old school revert, make it your friend!
New Age Film Extremist
Post-digital film shooters that have never shot digital. These are rare creatures indeed, and highly prized among collectors! For some reason, these folks started into film photography after the digital boom. Some of them might have taken a few shots on a friend’s camera, but they never bought one themselves. Most of them also listen to music on vinyl and use an abacus for complex math. They are relatively harmless, but they can sometimes be aggressive toward digital photographers.
New Age Film Hater
Post-digital photographers who tried film and hated it. Hey, at least they gave it a shot, right? These ones are certainly more open-minded than digital extremists, but film just didn’t do it for them. Some new age film haters will attack the analog medium, while others accept that it has merits.
New Age Film Convert
Post-digital photographers that got into film after being introduced by digital. This is probably the fastest growing category of film photographer, and it’s the group that I fall into myself. Introduced to photography by the digital revolution, we started reaching for something more interesting or challenging. Once drawn into film, some of us became obsessed and let our digital equipment gather dust… others are more casual film shooters.
Digital photographers that have never shot film. These animals are the polar opposite of the old school film extremist. They grew up on digital and they refuse to even think of shooting film (why would they? it’s evil!). There are actually a few sub-groups within this category: those that hate film for some reason and those who are impartial toward it. The hateful ones can be quite entertaining with their arguments against a medium they’ve never tried. (Feeling Negative)
Kind of makes you think, right? Since I used to shoot film in my youth (see above haha), I guess that makes me an Old School Film Revert. I generally enjoy shooting—whether it’s digital or analogue, pinhole or camera phone—but find the most amusement, charm and knowledge in the creative and technical processes behind film photography!
So what kind of film photographer are you? :-)