{18/06/2012}   Taking photos: film or digital?

                Last night I had the questionable pleasure of watching and listening to someone trying to make the transition from digital cameras back to film camera.  It wasn’t pretty and there was no happy ending.  I too have made a partial return to film cameras and have taken quite a few rolls of film.  But I haven’t developed any of them.  I was initially put off when I took them into Boots and was told it would take up to 45 days.  Really?  45 days have long passed and I could have had them by now, though I have since been told that other High Street shops are much better.

                Why did we go digital?  It’s easy, isn’t it?  You can take a photo and distribute it within seconds.  You can take ten photos of the same thing and choose the best one to print out, if indeed you ever get around to printing them out.  It seems easier to manage photos on a computer than in packets and albums.  And having cameras on mobile phones means that pretty much everyone has a “camera” to hand.  It’s great and I probably have more photos of friends and random things I see and like than in the days when I would make a decision to take a camera with me.  But while film is much less convenient and, I’ve recently discovered, people seem momentarily confused that they can’t view the photo they’ve just had taken of them, the anticipation of getting your pictures back is wonderful.  Though I can’t really talk as I just have a row of film canisters awaiting printing.

However, the main reason I am enthusiastic about a return to film (for photo opportunities rather than to carry around every day) is that I think the quality is still better.  I have a very good digital camera, a Nikon D700, but it still isn’t as good, though of course there’s PhotoShop.  Hmm, another issue really!

My friend last night was trying to load a 120 film into a fantastic Lomography Diana F+.  It turns out it wasn’t his incompetence but a possible fault with the camera, annoyingly.  I like Lomography because they are embracing the concept of film being fun, of being experimental.  I too have one of their cameras, it takes four photos in one photo, all a split second apart.  It’s not supposed to be a great quality photo, rather a fun and different photo.

I know there are lots of great things about digital cameras and photographs and how easy it is to share your photos via email, etc, and I will never not want a digital camera, but I have had fun going out and actually taking photos with my film cameras.  I have actually enjoyed spending time trying to get it right, instead of just pointing and clicking a few times, knowing that one photo should come out well and if not, well I can crop it/enhance it, etc.  Now I desperately want to get my photos developed!  I may change my tune slightly when they all come out blurred (one camera I’ve been using is manual focus and I’ve already “lost” an entire film by not loading the film properly!) but, delightfully, I can’t remember what photographs I’ve taken, beyond knowing where I was for some of my recent photo trips!


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