You know what the difference is between a professional career photographer and an enthusiastic hobbyist is? Patience. I learned how to shoot originally with film, and when photography was a multiple-cost process of buying film, shooting and then paying for development you made your shots count. I love digital. I love how it’s finally maturing and how it’s bringing out a lot of talent in a lot of people. But as far as shooting goes, I hate how fast it is. People will shoot hundreds of photos and then dig out “the one” from this pile of what’s otherwise junk. When I shot film, I made each shot count. When doing portraits I would talk to my subject, get to know them and photograph them as they got comfortable. When I did still life I would study what I was shooting carefully and study the light and make it perfect before I even took a single frame. Ask anyone who has shot with a 4×5 camera – when it costs you about $8.00 per picture you slow down and work meticulously to make the image the best it can possibly be before you take that picture.
My advice to you is to put that digital camera away for a day and shoot some film. Pick up a Holga. There’s something very organic about loading, winding, spooling, developing, washing and printing your film by hand. You will learn a lot from this process and it may make you enjoy your digital photography even more so.
Since it’s invention, photography has been a print medium. Salt-prints, ambro-types, tin-types, everything was printed on something. Today it seems like it’s everywhere in newspapers, magazines, billboards, etc. With the digital age dominating, we are seeing a decline in newspaper and magazine subscriptions, and more integration of digital mediums, such as electronic billboards, internet ads and even a few video-based magazine ads with paper-thin LCD screens.
Studies show that kids between the ages of 8 – 18 consume multiple types of media at the same time, most of them digital while print is being left in the dust.
Then there’s the iPad. Personally, I love having a printed portfolio, but this slick new toy or at least the concept behind it may very well replace printed samples. Photography schools and programs are already starting to teach 35mm film exclusively to fine-art students. We’re coming into that sci-fi world that we’ve been seeing in the movies since the 1950’s, minus the flying cars. So what do you think? Is print media dying? Will it be replaced by iPads and other types of digital medias and display? Comment and place your vote below!
With digital photography becoming more accessible every day, it’s more important than ever to keep up on the latest technologies and techniques – it’s more competitive than ever.
And once again, it seems that the field that has the biggest niche for work and the smallest for actual talent is the world of computers – or image retouching and manipulation.
Images like these are made up of over 100 photographs, all painstakingly tweaked to fit together with the overall idea. These people do not take photographs – they create them. They are professionals, working hundreds of hours on a single image. The images are used for magazines, calenders, greeting cards and just about every thing you can think of. And these retouchers are paid very well because a lot of photographers are great photographers – but they rarely have the time or skill to do complete image overhauls like the ones you see above.
I attended a talk by Kate Chase, a image retoucher-agent and she spoke of how digital imaging is changing. She and many others in her industry believe that it is more important now than ever to have a degree in your field and have complete understanding of post production. It will give you leg up on your competitors – people who still shoot with film, I’m looking at you.
So if you think that you suck at photoshop, you better brush up or it’s going to be a long cold winter for you.
Film is dead. There, I said it. There are some hardcore people out there who still believe it to be superior to it’s digital counter-part, but those people are not making any money. Digital is the place to be in today’s professional world of photography.
I admit, I own a Nikon F2, a Holga, and a few Polaroids. I love film in all of it’s formats, But these days, there is no real practical (or commercial) use for it. Film has a certain look or feel to it, as does using a low end camera like a Holga. But really unless you feel like using a damaged lens, you can get these same effects right in photoshop.
People may argue “It’s not the same!” and from a certain standing, they are right. But it’s cheaper, and isn’t that what every thing is about these days?
For those of you who cried the day Polaroid discontinued it’s film, you should keep an eye on Polaroid.Net, it’s a great free piece of software that when you import your JPEG’s, it spits them out in a remarkable recreation of a polaroid photo – complete with a flash, a sound and the option to “Shake it” with the mouse to speed up the development time. The finished pictures even have thumb-prints and dirt on them. The images are fairly high-res considering that it’s a beta, but from the looks of the website there’s a lot more to come.
Sorry to be so tough on you guys, like I said, film is great – but if you want to be in the game you need to accept that you will not make it in that world if you try. But I’m sure that wherever film is, it’s looking upon us and smiling.