In a world where film is a rarity and almost anything is digitized, where does analogue photography stand? We asked this question to two lovely and talented photographers, and here are their views on the subject.
“This is a topic that is always wildly present in my mind. Similar to a painter choosing acrylic to oil, they are different mediums. The part of the process that binds me to analogue is printing in the darkroom; I find black and white silver gelatin prints on warm tone paper incredible. However, the process isn’t for everyone, and it takes a great deal of patience and time. I don’t think digital is replacing analogue but the advances and accessibility of digital technology has caused many to transfer to digital.
It’s become a necessity to shoot digital to make a living with photography, with exceptions of successful fine art photographers. The other week I heard about someone being booked as an ‘Instagrammer.’ Phone photography is developing quickly in the digital world too! Sometimes it makes my stomach drop to think of job opportunities that are available to people using their phones. "
“The thread that strings together a lot of the present analogue world is that it’s not about the money. Analogue is a process and tradition. I find most people that choose to shoot film and print in the darkroom are very passionate about their craft. Taking a picture with a digital camera and analogue camera is actually very similar; the only difference is that film is replaced by a device and every frame you take with film is a little more costly. For beginners learning with film and in the darkroom teaches patience, precision and trains your eye. It’s too expensive to take frames you don’t like or waste film so it pushes you quickly.
Working many years as a model to both digital and analogue photographers, I noticed a great difference with the processes. When I worked with digital photographers they tended to snap pictures endlessly and hope that ‘one picture will work’. Analogue photographers would take only a few photos. The process is slower and an image comes together much like a painting. Everything is put into place and then magic happens at the click of the shutter. When I meet people who studied analogue photography, even if they now shoot digital, the spirit of the conversation about photography is different. I enjoy the craft that seems so alive and ingrained in their minds. I don’t have complaints about digital photography advances and expansion, but in many cases I feel like the craft is being lost. From working at a photo agency, it doesn’t make sense to me to see raw files from photographers (top photographers in the industry even) shooting huge jobs that need hours and hours of retouching to look decent. Digital has made some photographers lazy and careless, and it takes away the intimate process of capturing the perfect moment. I’m lucky to live in New York however and have a community where the analogue community is still vibrant. For all I know, in the world I surround myself in, analogue seems like a large community!"
“Though production of cameras and analogue equipment in general is decreasing rapidly, the trend of film photography is helping it to survive. Many say that this trend will fade away like everything else does, but it is a refreshment to photography in general that something so old (let’s be real) and quite hard to master has become so popular.
All those full-frame digital cameras have become really all the same and film photography has something refreshing and new to offer. I am really glad that many of the photographers I know shoot also film right now and I have hope that analogue photography will stay in the future, alongside digital, as a necessary rival and partner."
So what do you think? Do you believe that film photography is back with a vengeance? share your insight in the comments section below.
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