Any reason to shoot film nowadays?

Started Apr 12, 2013 | Discussions thread
joneil Regular Member • Posts: 173
Re: Lomography (^_^) - (NT)

There is one HUGE advantage to film - well, at least B&W as I never shot much colour film to begin with.

No need for power, batteries or any kind of electricity.   In some enviroments, like our very cold Canadian winters, batteries do not always do well.

My older Nikon FMs and FM2s, my Mamyia C330 and all my 4x5s, even my 8x10, all need no power.  how do I meter then?  With my eyes.   After 30 years of shooting, I find I can meter a shot with my eyes even without a camera meter.  yes, I do have 3 spot meters and a good hand held meter, but I can walk into a situation with my Crown Graphic and away I go.

A lot of people can do this, there is nothing magical to it.  it just takes time and experience.  However with the new digital SLRs, and th way they change so quickly, it might be hard for the next generation to learn this.

The second issue is B&W just looks different.  not better, not worse, just different.   Before anybody comes at me, yes, I do own and use a D700, two D7000s, a couple of kick ass Epson printers, and fully legal and registered copies of both Photoshop and Lightroom, so I am no luddite.

The third, and last issue - at least for me - is the creative process is different.  I don't know how to fully explain it, but my brain works differently in the relative peace and silence of the darkroom as compared to sitting in front of a computer and all the noise that comes form it and the printers I use.  That different enviroment helps you "see" your final image differently.

Film in general does that too.  When you have a maximum of 25 shoots on 35mm, or 12 shots on your 120, or maybe even only 4 or 6 shots max with your large format, you make every shot count.  with my D700 or D7000, 200 shots in a day, no problem, sort them out when you get back to the office.  with with 4x5 film, and each sheet of film cost you 2 bucks, plus your time and processing afterwards - you make sure every single shot counts.  How you approach a subject changes radically.

Bottom line is, shot what you want and need.  People still carve wood, paint with oil paint and water colours, and they have all found their niches.   The idea that "film is dead" is in itself "brain dead" thinking.

One last thought - down at the local market near me, a portrait photographer has just setup a new business, which appears so far to be successful.  You know what kind film or digital he shoots?  None of the above.  He shoots tintypes.  Real, honest to goodness tintypes.  Just like they did over a hundred years ago, and people are going for it.  I guess in his case he would answer yes, no need to shoot film when he has tintypes. 

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