I’m not going to write out some long winded treatise on the war between film and digital imaging. I’m pretty damn sure film lost, but it doesn’t have to crawl off and die just yet. I use film as well as digital. It’s all easy and it’s not hard to get excellent images.
I’ve got an old Canon EOS 630 film body that I got from EBay little more than a year ago. Paid $19 (plus shipping) and used a little bit of elbow grease to clean up a sticky shutter. I’ve run dozens of rolls through it since and haven’t had a single failure (other than the “operator” kind) to produce great pictures. It uses any lens made with a Canon EOS mount. My sweet sister donated two old zooms to me (thanks, sweetie!), and I’ve been using the snot out of them. Whereas the fancy digital camera you buy now will be obsolete in a year or too, people are taking great photos on 50 year old film cameras.
As for film, there’s still plenty out there. You might have to search it out on websites like Adorama, but you can get it. For low prices you can get good performing negative film (Fuji Superia 400, $7 for five rolls at Walmart), or for a few bucks more, you can get excellent performance from slide film (like Fuji Velvia). I use negative film because of the ease of getting it developed and scanned at places like Target, getting big clean rich 18 megapixel digital images that I’ve never had issue with.
I’ll have to shoot a lot more rolls before I’ll ever come close to matching the price of a digital SLR able to give me the same images. I can afford to shoot film and find myself taking more time to make sure the image is right before I take the picture. I’m still quite the amateur when it comes to photography but even I can see a small improvement in my skills. A fancy camera does not make you a skilled photographer. But a photographer with skills can get more out of a good camera than a crappy one. But a very skilled photographer can get stunning results with a plastic P.O.S. like the Holga.
I don’t have one of those. I have a Lubitel, though…
Notice the capital “P.” Seems one of my photos (see below) was used in a Yahoo Spark article about The Language of the New Economy. It won’t make me rich (it won’t make me any money) but this is my third Flickr image used in someone else’s work. I’m up to two websites and one book! Woo hoo!
Mike at The Online Photographer had a great idea for sharpening a photographers ability (or maybe even helping with photographer’s block), take a manual film camera (a Leica, for instance) and shoot only black and white for a year. I assume this was an exercise in seeing the light, not just the color and learning exposure values the same way most people type, without thinking about it.
Like I said, great idea but it was quickly consumed in a “why a Leica?” war that completely got off the point of the exercise. I’m pretty sure he meant to simplify and shoot, shoot, shoot and practice makes perfect, etc. Later, the exhausted Mike came up with variations on a theme post that outlined ways to achieve the same thing with different equipment, film, etc.
I’m by no means a professional photographer, as a matter of fact I consider myself a rank amatuer at this stuff. But I think someone lost the whole point of photography, “ITS NOT THE EQUIPMENT, ITS THE EYE” that makes a great photograph. Ask Ken Rockwell, if you don’t believe me. I’ve seem people make great pictures with ancient cameras and light leaking pieces of… plastic. And I’ve seen uninspiring pictures taken with multi thousand dollar rigs.
Hit a snag with my Ubuntu laptop testing program. I’ve really booogered up the installation by trying to convert it to Kubuntu (using the KDE window manager instead of Gnome). Somehow I got parts of version 4.0 and 3.51 running together and the whole thing is hosed. Thought I knew what I was doing, “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.”
I was hoping to load up KDEnlive, a video editor for Linux that uses KDE, But with the mishmash, it would never properly startup. I have the idea to “drop back five yards and punt,” downloaded the Kubuntu ISO, burned a install CD and rebuild everything. Guess what? My laptop’s CD writer hardware is all crapped out. Now I got to find a DVD/CDRW drive for a Toshiba A55. Wish me luck…
Tonight I decided not to fart around with it anymore, I’m just gonna read some Neil Stephenson (from the Baroque Cycle) and just hang out here in Ft. Pierce. FL. I’m typing up this blog post on my cell phone. It worked good enough and doesn’t require WiFi.
Later I hope to do some work here regarding another project I’m working on, getting back into the film photography racket. Contrary to the Obituaries, FILM IS NOT DEAD!