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.
I have spoken of camera phones in the past, stating that they would be the death of the Photojournalism field. While this may not happen anytime real soon, I think that the availability and accessibility to the general public has greatly impacted
“Real news” brought to you by the people. However, it now seems to be affecting the fine art field as well. Photographers like Chase Jarvis and Lisa Wiseman use iPhones for fine art projects and others have even used camera phones to do professional work. This at first did not make much sense to me. Why would professional photographers advocate the use of low-resolution, slow shutter-speed cameras that any 15-year old girl would just toss in her purse? The answer is simple: Camera Phones are the next Polaroids and Holgas.
The low-tech-no-extras approach to photography is very refreshing. Most camera phones are in the range of 2-5 megapixels, and they don’t exactly have a large color palette or much dynamic range – but the DO produce unique, one of a kind images. And now it’s easier than ever to put those photos where people can see them on sites like Tumblr and Flickr with new technologies and smart phones.
Be sure to check out the Some-Photog-Tumblog for more camera phone photos.
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.