September 23, 2009

Film vs Digital deception

I've been trying to immerse myself in more creative endeavors. I've always loved shooting medium and large format film and have missed it greatly since I started shooting digital. Another photographer on the blog "The Ingoing" also expressed that she missed shooting film and gave similar reasons why. We both liked the anticipation of "wait time" between shooting and actually seeing the outcome, or, I should say, the uncertainty of the outcome. The need to be more precise, the organic quality and process and finally the ability and superiority I feel over those who rely on the latitude of the raw digital image to save their asses using digital files. Shooting film requires FAR more technical knowledge, period. Especially using transparency film. I like that I get 12 frames on a roll and can't rely on blasting frame after frame until I finally see a nicely exposed image on my little screen. It takes a good technician to get a correctly exposed image on film. A friend recently shot some images of the city at 11:00am (crappy light) and later made it look like it was shot at 6:00am by darkening the sky, adding a reddish glow to the clouds, combining 2 images taken at two different exposures to make one good one. To me, that's bullshit. Some dodging and burning is one thing, normal and expected. Creating an image is cheating. Be a photographer, get your lazy ass up at 4:30am, drive to the location and take your "first light" shot if you want that look. Don't use gimmicks, photoshop and deception to pretend you did. And most importantly, it's NOT just about the final outcome, it's also about the process, the craft, the sacrifice. If that weren't the case, why bother with mountain climbing? Have a helicopter take you to the top and drop you off so you can say, "Yeah, I've been to the top of Everest". You have, but you cheated, you chump!

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