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What Kind of Film Photographer Are You?

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.

Author Brian Auer with a functioning medium-format Graflex Crown Graphic. Sourced from Feeling Negative

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…

Photo by lighthouseblues

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.

Photo by dreadlockboy

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.

Photo by ucinz

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!

Photo by life_on_mars

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.

Photo by ryszardl70

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.

Photo by mikeydavies

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.

Photo by thesterlingczar

Digital Extremist

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? :-)

written by denisesanjose

33 comments

  1. sirio174

    sirio174

    I'm an Old School Film Revert!

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  2. sirio174

    sirio174

    I'm an Old School Film Revert!

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  3. sirio174

    sirio174

    I'm an Old School Film Revert!

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  4. sirio174

    sirio174

    I'm an Old School Film Revert!

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  5. sweetyyydreams

    sweetyyydreams

    Old school film revert! But in my mind, I think of myself as an old school film convert: before the digital, I would shoot lots of films just for the souvenirs of places I traveled to, and moments with friends and family. But back to analogue after a few years with digital, now I'm really starting enjoying real photography, the one that pushes my view on things, my creativity, that makes me think of my subjects, environments etc. So in this sense, I'm definitely an old school film convert!

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  6. dreadlockboy

    dreadlockboy

    i think am a Old School Film Revert :)

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  7. guanatos

    guanatos

    I'm such an Old School Film Revert!!!! I started shooting film at school then changed to digital for the job then pretty much gave up on digital and came running back to analogue!!!

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  8. lucklik

    lucklik

    I'm an old school film revert. Like all the people who left a comment before me. When it is unimportant or when I really need fast results I shoot digital. But most of the time it is film. It is just more fun.

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  9. chib3h

    chib3h

    Old School Film Revert here... haha :D Should never have left film

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  10. denisesanjose

    denisesanjose

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  11. makarov

    makarov

    new age film extremist I think :D

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  12. soulsberry

    soulsberry

    i'm actually a new age film extremist. was never really interested in photography before but got into film somehow a few years back, and it's been tons of fun. i shoot more digital now, but only because i live in europe now and shooting film is so much more expensive here :(
    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  13. tall_bastard

    tall_bastard

    new age film extremist :D

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  14. b0m

    b0m

    Old School Film Revert here. But it's only now that i'm back with film that i started to care about real photography. My usage of digital cameras and the film before that were only for tourist-like stuff. I think this community has a great part in this.

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  15. vickstar79

    vickstar79

    Hmmmm, I suppose the closest I'd be is an Old School Revert, but to be honest, I never packed away the film, and when I got my first digital camera in 2007 I just started using both for different projects. So perhaps there should be a sort of 'Combi Camera User' category here. I'm sure I'm not alone in this.
    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  16. timrathbone

    timrathbone

    new age film convert, though the vinyl use certainly makes me a new age film extremist. i think its good to keep an open mind
    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  17. antibiotyx

    antibiotyx

    i fall into the old school film revert group. i've always had penchant for analogue stuff (vinyl, cassettes, famicon, etc.) ever since i was a kid. i occasionally used point-and-shoot cameras when i was in highschool, then got hooked on digital photography in college. now i'm back to shooting analogue and expanding my film camera collection. i don't own a digicam anymore. :)

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  18. shafiqsamat

    shafiqsamat

    old school film revert! =D
    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  19. ariannapaloma

    ariannapaloma

    Proud New Age Film Extremist!

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  20. lighthouseblues

    lighthouseblues

    Yepp, old school film revert! I was mourning film for almost a decade until I found that film was not dead!!! Happily back again and never leaving film again, ever! :-D
    @denisesanjose Thanks for using my pict! :-)

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  21. natalieerachel

    natalieerachel

    New Age Film Convert!

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  22. jodimeetdiana76

    jodimeetdiana76

    Old School Film Revert! Used film before digital came along and the early adopter that I am switched to digital. That's when I really got into photography and in my quest to be a better photographer, I added film back to my camera bag (along with my digital and iPhone)

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  23. fash_on

    fash_on

    Old school film revert. Got my first D-SLR in 2002, discovered lomography about 5 years later and have slowly reverted to the smallest and simplest of film cameras, UWS & LCA. Digital definitely renewed my interest in photography, but I got bored with it eventually.

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  24. jesalonen

    New Age Film Convert - and proud of it :)
    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  25. welland

    welland

    You have forgotten about the hipsters who have seen film cameras in high street shops and want one to look cool but have no interest in learning its art.

    I have seen more of them then any others, and they are the worse type.

    ALL THE GEAR AND NO IDEA

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  26. karo_mini

    karo_mini

    Im a New Age Film Extremist - i really appreciate digital photography but i just never got myself digital camera and i just shot few shots from other's cameras but i didnt really like the results and thought i just dont have an eye for photography... it appeared i have no digital soul and that's why they werent good :)

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  27. casperxd

    casperxd

    New Age Film Extremist:)

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  28. marcosnava

    marcosnava

    Old School Film Revert

    over 1 year ago · report as spam
  29. noiserotator

    noiserotator

    Old school film revert... though I only got to own a few compact cameras in the old days.
    over 1 year ago · report as spam
  30. mikerph

    mikerph

    I'm a New Age Film Convert and LOVE IT! I very rarely shoot digital and then only for reminders or the VERY occasional instagram i don't own a digital camera at all! lol :)
    over 1 year ago · report as spam
  31. dermanu

    dermanu

    Old school film revert.

    over 1 year ago · report as spam
  32. mxlomo

    mxlomo

    New age film convert. When I was a child I shot film, but I became a serious photographer in the digital era. But I was missing something and got interested in shooting film. So, now I own 5 analogue camera's and only one digital camera. My digital camera is now used for concert photography and freelance assignments only.
    over 1 year ago · report as spam
  33. photobarbie

    photobarbie

    Old school film revert. I can appreciate digital but have a true love for film's qualities, enjoy the waiting to see the results, love the surprises and am inspired by beautiful art made without the use of a computer!

    over 1 year ago · report as spam

Read this article in another language

This is the original article written in: English. It is also available in: Italiano & 中文(繁體版).