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The State Of Film
Old 11-17-2005, 08:52 AM   #1 (permalink)
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I got "into" photography by taking a dark room class about 4+ years ago. I loved the smell of developer, and stop, and fix. I loved the magic of watching my image appear on the paper. I even found the seemingly endless dodging, burning, cropping, etc. appealing. There was a certain sense of awe that "layman" had for those of us who could take a can of exposed film into a closet and emerge with an 11x14 print.

The advent of digital and the electronic darkroom (Photoshop, Paintshop Pro, Gimp, and the like) have made it easier, not to mention more convenient, for anyone with a computer to take and print their own work, albeit with varying degress of quality.

The dark room I used at Showcase here in Atlanta, has closed. They no longer rent out the space. It is gone. Film seems to now be more in the realm of folks who either can't afford to go digital or are intimidated by the technology, and some hard-core pros.

I just shot a roll of b+w with my Holga over the weekend for sh*ts and giggles. I was going to go to Showcase to develop the film and do a contact sheet. I'm going to have to find another alternative (maybe develop the film at home and scan the negs).

Poor film...glad I made the digital switch!
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Re: The State Of Film
Old 11-17-2005, 09:06 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Ed, I learned photography the same way you did, though for me it was way more than four years ago. However, I was always one of those shooters who hated being in the darkroom. When I was working the stock car races at a local track I was spending most of my Sunday's in that dark, hot, smelly place until my feet and back hurt. When digital became viable I dropped film like a bad habit and I haven't looked back. In my little corner of the world, film is dead.

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Re: The State Of Film
Old 11-17-2005, 09:26 AM   #3 (permalink)
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My first real photographic experience was taking b&w photos in high school, with a camera that belonged to the school. There was essentially no "photography" instruction...they just taught us to develop the film, which generally consisted of pretty poor photographs. Because the images were completely uninspiring, I never really took a liking to the darkroom.

I'm loving the digital revolution, and see no reason to look back. I think there will be some pros that continue to use film for some time, especially large format users. But I see absolutely no reason why a typical consumer would buy a film camera today. You don't even have to have a computer; just shoot and print at your local digi-lab.
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Re: The State Of Film
Old 11-17-2005, 09:34 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm with you 100% Ed. I miss the smell of the darkroom and watching that image appear on the paper. I am afraid those days are soon to be long gone. It is a pitty that the kids that will make up the next generation of photographers will likely never experience any of it.
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Re: The State Of Film
Old 11-17-2005, 09:57 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I started shooting back in the 50's with a Brownie Hawkeye. My first camera. Black and white film. Still remember the thrill of seeing my first wildlife photo taken with it. It was a watter snake on the bank of a lake in N.C. where I grue up. You couldn't see the snake much unless you knew it was their and looked really close. But I thought for shore nuf I was going to go on safari with Marlin Perkins the next year and become a famous wildlife photog.
Sense then i have worked in every type of photography their is and like you I miss the smells and feel of the paper and the image appearing in the red light of the dark room. But I guess the really old timers Miss having to mix the silver and egg white and run it to the 10x14 camera on a trypod and shoot it then run back and develope it in a covered waygon and print it in sunlite as a contact print and process it.
No it was good and many happy hours were spent in the dark room but I do love my Canon 10d and photoshop too. The really bad thing about it is the lack of the cameras we all learned from. We had to learn to control the light and subject with f stops and shutter speeds. No auto. Most of the folks oon here understand it o.k. but so many people have no concept of the rules governing immaging it isn't funny. Do miss that.
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Re: The State Of Film
Old 11-17-2005, 10:16 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Recently just did a photo workshop here in Jersey, I would say roughly 80% of the attendees were still shooting 35mm film. Granted, average age was 40-60 years of age. Right or wrong, they all had the same opinion no digital will ever come close to a 35mm negative.....keep in mind, digital they have seen is point and shoot digitals. So people assume megapixels would translate the same to larger sensors in Digital SLR's etc.

For the most part, all were happy with there film. AGFA who was working with me also rolled his eyes with every "GWC" that came by with a N80 body saying no digital camera comes close. But the fixer may keep them coming back for more the problem is this, and they are all facing it now or will in the next few years.

Printing and devlopment. The labs they know, are long gone. The stores they go to now CVS, Walmart, Target, etc etc. They are going to start raising the prices to keep what they consider antiquated equipment and rare chemistry around to do the job required.

Film vs digital is no longer a debate in the 35mm realm. But slowly and surely, technology is coming up and above and will soon be matching quality from 120 on a 35mm slr.

The sweet smell of fixer under our fingernails will soon be a distant memory [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img]


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Re: The State Of Film
Old 11-17-2005, 10:34 AM   #7 (permalink)
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[ QUOTE ]
Film vs digital is no longer a debate in the 35mm realm.

[/ QUOTE ]

You're right. I think if I were forced to shoot a wedding (with my equipment), I'd pull out my film camera...simply for the exposure latitude that's offered, and needed in the fast paced, no-re-shoot atmosphere of a wedding.

BTW, I've got a bunch of film that's been in my fridge for a couple years now...anybody want it?
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Re: The State Of Film
Old 11-17-2005, 11:30 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Goes back to learning to shoot with your equiptment and trusting it. I shoot weddings all the time digital and the first one nearly gave me an ulcer. Not because of the quality but just what you said. Fortunately, it has all been good ever sense. I still shoot slides and scan them but just for fun. All my commercial stuff is shot digital and some of it has been re produced up to 24 x 36 and turned out great. Don't worry about digital. shoot it and shoot it. Weddings in particular are great now because you don't have to pace yourself and count frames. Just take alot of cards with you and have fun.
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Re: The State Of Film
Old 11-17-2005, 12:32 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I'm still fighting my inevitable assimilation, but I'm afraid I can't hold out much longer. I still love the contrast ratio of film. That new D200 is lookin pretty good. We'll see how it does once it is released.

Currently I shoot slide, develop at home and scan with a slide scanner with great results. Sometimes it's fun. Sometimes it's a pain.

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Re: The State Of Film
Old 11-17-2005, 01:05 PM   #10 (permalink)
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well i was a film shooter a few years ago, then stopped shooting altogether.
got back into it because someone broke my 105 prime lens, (got my $ back for it)so i got a d70 and got into digital.
althought lately been wanting to go back to slides *drool*
just can't be beat, ya it's a little more work but the color/colour(if you're Canadian eh) saturation is amazing...i love it.
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