Does film still have a place in culture and society?
Human ingenuity is this race’s way to ensure that life will be much easier, even for the succeeding generations. Washing machines were invented to take the toil out of doing the laundry; mobile phones were created to make communication readily available; and digital photography was introduced as an alternative to the almost unpredictable, relatively tedious process of photographing the analogue way.
So where does analogue photography stand in a world where everything’s preferably done the fast and easy way? Does film still have a place in a society where practically anything is digitized?
The digital revolution
There is no denying the fact that the digital revolution has made its contribution to every imaginable sector of society. Gone are the days when the printing and publishing industry would have to deal with positives and negatives and plates. Business presentations are now paperless. The digital revolution has made a huge impact on photography as well, and continues to do so. I can still remember how it was in the early 2000s, when commercial photography took a big leap towards the digital realm with the introduction of digital backs for Hasselblads and the commercial success of DSLRs. Not long after, the production of APS and cartridge film was discontinued. 120 and even 35mm film became a rarity in most regions.
I hate to admit this, but back then, I did believe that film was dying an unchartered death.
What goes around comes around. Film never died, and towards the latter part of the same decade, it staged a major comeback. More and more lensmen went back to their roots, and started using film again. In fact, there are quite a few who remained loyal to the medium despite the convenience of shooting digital.
There are all sorts of analogue photographers on the planet. There are still those whose passion for film has convinced them to remain loyal to the legacy of a previous generation despite the digital age. On a professional level, there are those who shoot digital for commercial purposes, and on film for more personal projects. On the other hand, there are photographers who worked on their portfolios using current, state-of-the-art digital equipment, only to realize that they want to convert and shoot exclusively on film. And then, there are those, who, like most of us, are still discovering or re-discovering the beautiful surprises film photography has to offer, as it finds its place in a fast-paced, digitized universe.
Our world may be swamped with high-tech gadgets, but with the continuous rise of analogue-driven talent and the never-ending hunt for classic film cameras, it appears that the renaissance of film photography has finally taken place. Film is not dead, and it’s here to say.