I hate to break it to you guys, but switching to film from digital does not make you a better photographer, it may give you something to brag about, but that’s about it – what counts is your vision and your command of your gear, nothing else. processing can be a pain in the rear for both and the editing process is pretty much the same, get on with the program and start photographing already…
an excerpt from a questionnaire that happens to touch on the same subject:
The move from analog to digital has made a huge change in, not only to how people take, print or develop their pictures, but also to whole businesses. How has this affected you and your work, and how do you feel about these changes?
I’m a geek at heart and I embrace technology and its use. digital changed my view, but it did not change my vision…
digital cameras even improved my workflow, as I love the flexibility it gives me, especially since it pretty much lifts the decision process of shooting black and white or color…
Were you reluctant to change the way you worked, or did you feel that it was time for things to change?
I always hated printing in the darkroom and the move to Photoshop, and later Lightroom came somewhat natural to me… I’m a computer guy and I have a background in the prepress and printing industry as a graphic designer and have had experience with both, conventional processes since the late 80ies and have moved to digital/Photoshop in the early 90ies and since welcomed the move towards “between the keyboard and the chair”.
Now that things have completely changed to digital, do you still use film and chemical processing at all, or do you feel that you can just recreate that effect in Photoshop?
I keep a few rolls of film and some developer around, in case I get an itch to burn some film, but honestly I hardly find the time to do it and have sold most of the more expensive film cameras. I used a hybrid process for a couple of years anyways, I shot film, scanned it and adjusted everything in Photoshop. The traditional film processes like dodging/burning, contrast etc. are easily recreated… film grain proves to be a challenge still and film does have an edge in the “looks” department, but the average viewer is probably oblivious to that nuance anyways.
Do you think that there will be a backlash soon, and people will start rebelling against digital, and start using analog again? And why.
people always rebel against new technology… when I started using a Macintosh in 1990 or so, the old-school typesetters would frown upon this toy-like new machine and its software tools, and it’s been the same with for the past decade – some photographers are rebelling against digital, as they think it takes away their craft and destroys the industry in general, but that’s nonsense in my book.
I personally think that we as creatives have to take on the challenge and change our business model. photography and its products are not a commodity anymore and we can’t solely rely on selling products like prints or wedding albums and must come up with new business ideas — photography 2.0, so to speak.
There are a good amount of artists who enjoy “going retro” and the manual process itself, and some will be able to carve a niche out for themselves, as custom art and goods are in demand at all times.
Are there any ways in which analog is better than digital? And visa versa.
better? no! different – yes!!
A piece of film, or a print -is tangible, for one- and on top of that, its longevity is unsurpassed thus far… and it took me a while to develop a bulletproof digital strategy, and fortunately by now cloud storage is so cheap that multiple backups are a no-brainer for anyone. Analog may be better suited to develop and fuel one’s imagination as the results are not available right away, but that could easily get resolved by ignoring the digital camera’s screen… it’s a tie, either way