Petzval_header_october_2014
Have an account? Login | New to Lomography? Register | Lab | Current Site:

Photo Stores Sabotage Analogue

Generalization usually leads to mistakes, I know; but I can't help asking myself why most photographers and photography store clerks appear to be so openly against analogue photography, films, and the rest about traditional photography.

I had no intention of writing about this, but something similar happened to me again…I think it’s worth reflecting over. Or, even reopen a debate that will never be trite. Analogue or digital photography? Do we have to drop one to take the other up?

When I began the search for my first analogue camera thousands of doubts took me over: what is better, 120mm film or 35mm film? Which one has a better quality/price relationship? Which one will I take the most advantage of? Susielomovitz can vouch for it (I think I drove her a bit crazy with all my doubts).

Despite everything I had read in Lomography, I decided to go to my usual photo store to see what their opinion was, and I was surprised when the guy told me not to even think about buying a film camera (of any kind); that playing retro was “very cool,” but its unavoidable trend towards extinction made buying a film camera a stupid thing to do, because soon, I wouldn’t find any place to buy film or have them developed. If these are not exact words, it’s very close; so imagine my face and how disheartened I was when I walked out of the store.

Even then, I asked for a second opinion at a photo studio where I was given all the explanations in the world. They gave me all types of advice; they told me there was no problem in buying film or having it developed, etc. So obviously, my “usual photo store” had changed.

I may be too harsh, but…it’s so easy to have a photo store where you have an automatic machine that spits photos out non-stop (where the user chooses the size and number of copies, etc. through a CD or USB), and call yourself a photographer.

Photo by koruko

Now that I have my camera, I decided to sort the negatives and CDs, so I went to a different store (the one I was closer to at that moment) and tried to buy a negative file folder. Second digitalized answer: “Ugh, totally discontinued everywhere.” This answer is an exact quote.

As soon as I had the chance I tried the studio where I now develop everything and…I got my album:

Photo by koruko

Wouldn’t it be easier and more honest if they just said they only deal with digital photography?

To sum up, in a way, if photographers themselves don’t promote, defend and protect photography… of course its essence will go extinct. I am not against digital at all (in fact I believe denying that it makes everything easier, faster and more comfortable is absurd) and I believe that if both complement each other you can achieve amazing results, but I believe people should have the option to choose, and, unfortunately, those of us that don’t have a Lomography store near by… have it harder every time.

written by koruko and translated by etxenike

12 comments

  1. saidseni

    saidseni

    I'm happy you found a good lab, stick to it, that's what I did! It's not only in photography, nowadays people think that if you don't chose the faster, the cheaper and most of all, the option that needs less effort, you're stupid... go figure! :/

    about 3 years ago · report as spam
  2. paperplanepilot

    paperplanepilot

    everyday more and more films are being discontinued, more and more film labs close. It will be up to us to keep film photography alive and to spread the word. There are a lot of members here in lomography.com, but im sure there are more out there who still havent discovered that they have a passion for analogue. SO TWEET, POST PICTURES, WALK AROUND WITH YOUR CAMERA AROUND YOUR NECK. spread the word and keep analogue alive!

    about 3 years ago · report as spam
  3. wolkers

    wolkers

    My advice is, never talk to shop assistants, they usually got no idea of photography or film photography at all. If you really need to know something, ask the shop assistant to look for the phone number of the lab, so you can call them. And I don't think film photography will soon be extinct. Vinyl records still aren't. If you stick to it and spread your lomo love, it won't ever be extinct. I've now inspired about 10 people to start analogue photography - and they all love it!

    about 3 years ago · report as spam
  4. iskandar

    iskandar

    another analogue photography discrimination... *sigh*

    about 3 years ago · report as spam
  5. laurasulilly

    laurasulilly

    oh, i totally agree with what you said about the co-existence of analogue and digital photography. also, there are quite a lot of people who still use film, many of them aren't on lomography.com, because lomography isn't the only way of doing it analogue. any decent photography community has their own sections/groups on anlogue photography (flickr, fotocommunity, etc) and although many films get discontinued, there are many who turn to analogue still. it won't die out, despite what the shop assistant told you. and anyone really interested in photography knows it won't (it's not for nothing that everyone going through photography school has to take classes on film photography to get to know the basics) :)

    about 3 years ago · report as spam
  6. herbert-4

    herbert-4

    Send your "shop assistants" to the Riot GRRRLS at a CVS Photo Kiosk. They will gladly stomp on them with their little Goth combat boots while shouting naughty things in Armenian.

    about 3 years ago · report as spam
  7. herbert-4

    herbert-4

    Send your "shop assistants" to the Riot GRRRLS at a CVS Photo Kiosk. They will gladly stomp on them with their little Goth combat boots while shouting naughty things in Armenian.

    about 3 years ago · report as spam
  8. domo-guy

    domo-guy

    I especially hate how digital wants to copy analogue especially in iphone apps. HATE >:(

    about 3 years ago · report as spam
  9. tomphilion

    tomphilion

    I totally agree. I took a roll of 120 E-6 film to my local shop and told them I wanted it developed. The guy behind the counter didn't know what I had just handed him. He got the manager who told me that they didn't have the "machine" to process it in house and would have to send it out of state to get it processed. *fail. Not to mention, the manager didn't understand what I meant when I told him I wanted it cross-processed with c-41 chemicals. It is so much easier for people to take digital pictures and feel like a photographer. Anyone can take pictures of their feet and call it art. There is so much more skill in analog film. You don't get the instant gratification of seeing the picture instantaneously. I hope that there are people like us who keep analog film alive for a long, long time!
    about 3 years ago · report as spam
  10. mintandcoke

    mintandcoke

    Here in Brazil, especially in a small neighborhood like mine situation is critical. All development is done by machines (C-41 only) and digitalizing is sometimes below poor. But I think it is not "personal" against analogue. It is merely a matter of business viability. It's WAY cheaper and easier to have a digital lab that requires little knowledge of personnel to operate. An analogue process takes up space and trained people to work with it and the consumption of analogue doesn't make up to the investment, unfortunately. The guys at the lab I have my stuff developed have NO idea of what is being done. But it's not their fault, they aren't trained in photography. Even as for digital goes, they can operate machines and that's it. Unless analogue becomes "profitable" again, chances are we'll keep paying expensive for pro-labs (that can keep themselves going) or doing it ourselves.

    about 3 years ago · report as spam
  11. kmcburnie

    kmcburnie

    Everyone wants things done, as fast, and as simple as can be. Unfortunately that means analogue is out in most peoples' minds. I talked to a photographer at a local Black's Photography store, and asked him what he though of analogue photography. He basically went on a tamed rant about how he used to own a film camera back in the day, but got out of it because he felt it was more of a fab than an art form now a days. He mention how film was going out; however, there are a few local photographers in Toronto that may shoot digital for work, but still use a film camera to document life or such. These photographers also argue how digital cameras allow for anyone to call themselves 'photographers'. Which also dampens the field. It really goes both ways to be fair. So, as other mention above, as long as we keep analogue alive, and wear our cameras around our necks; it stays alive.

    about 3 years ago · report as spam
  12. arifrodriguez

    arifrodriguez

    you're right.if not because of analogue,there is no such thing as digital photography,they should think of that before jumping into conclusion that analogue is not cool anymore.cheer up,lomography has set a platform for us to express ourselves and shared them with other analogue rs.

    about 3 years ago · report as spam

Read this article in another language

The original version of this article is written in: Spanish.