Photo Essay

Death to film slr? - porfolio essay for university

Zorki 4 Jupiter 8, Soviet Russian SLR

Ever since the advancement of digital cameras, film/analog photography has been taken over by megapixels. Digital photography is effecting everyone worldwide, and it's questionable whether the art of film photography will survive for future generations to enjoy. Myself being in love with the art of film photography, it's hard not having the resources to develop images from film or even have the time to shoot with an SLR camera. I don't regret converting to digital cameras as that opened many doors for me, although I can't help but to feel guilty for contributing to the disappearance of film photography. Many artists still use this art form so film is not completely dead although it's now a matter of time since many photographic stores have closed and resources are rapidly disappearing. It's sad to witness this digital take over but there's not much we can do about it now but appreciate analog for as long as it exists.

I remember the first time I picked up my Zorki 4, Soviet Russian SLR camera, I was about 6 years old and quickly fell in love with taking photos. I went around taking pictures of everything that seemed interesting to me, and my dad would take me to a little photography store to get the film developed. This quickly became a hobby and to this day I still have many black and white prints and film lanterns from when I was younger. If only that little photography store was still open I would probably still be taking photos on my SLR to this day. I have considered having my own darkroom to develop photos myself but I don't have the space, resources or time for that so digital photography has became more convenient. Even though digital photography was still available the time that I started out, I'm glad that I was exposed to film photography instead as it helped me discover and develop my passion for film and I wouldn't be the same person without it.

Although Digital photography is much more accessible, immediate, and cleaner, 35mm film by far has better image resolution quality and will continue to as long as pixels exist. Now, many people who are new to photography, usually go for a DSLR and don't even get the chance to experience the art of film and the great feelings that are derived from it. I find this sad because they're missing out on so much yet some are arrogant enough to argue that digital is better then analog. Why this bothers me is because someone who has shot with a film camera, developed their own film and pictures and had that feeling of happy surprises on their contact sheets, would not agree that digital is better. It is much easier to shoot digital, specially when you can delete unwanted pictures however the problem with that is people expect to take bad pictures if they want the chance to delete them where as with film, you train yourself to take good pictures. You shoot what you think is going to look great so you get a higher hit ratio and you take fewer shots overall.

In conclusion, I do believe analog photography is slowly disappearing but it's not dead as yet, I would say more in a critical state if anything. I have heard of artists who still stand by film photography and refuse to give in to the digital world but it is becoming harder now because the older analog gets, the more expensive it costs although just because it is old fashioned, doesn't mean it can't perform to the ability of digital, if not better.

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5 responses

  • Rajeev Jadhav

    Rajeev Jadhav gave props (20 Feb 2011):

    Superb my vote !!!!!

  • Rajeev Jadhav

    Rajeev Jadhav gave props (20 Feb 2011):

    Yes Enlargement from nigative are far better than digital image !!!!!!

  • Isabelle Dethier

    Isabelle Dethier gave props (20 Feb 2011):

    Voted, I agree absolutely

  • John Tanner

    John Tanner said (20 Feb 2011):

    You get my vote and total agreement .
    I have to admit I'v gone digital like so many of us have.
    But I'v yet to see a digital image that can match up with the quality I can still get shooting color slide film with my old Rollei or vintage Minolta Autocord.
    Great essay on the original art of photography !!!

  • Ruzanna Shortstuffyan

    Ruzanna Shortstuffyan said (20 Feb 2011):

    Thank you guys, and thanks John for the nomination, far too kind :)

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